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Packing Room Prize Winner


Evert Ploeg, 'Jana Wendt'
Packing Room Prize Winner 2004

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Thursday 18 March  2004:

Evert Ploeg has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2004 Archibald Prize for his portrait of Jana Wendt.

Evert has been a regular entrant in the Archibald prize. His first entry (1997), Bananas in Pyjamas, caused a huge stir. Other subjects include Para Olympian Louise Sauvage, singer Ben Lee, fashion identity Peter Morrissey and actor Richard Roxburgh. In 1999 Evert won the People's Choice award in both Sydney and Melbourne with his portrait of actress Deborah Mailman.

Jana Wendt, host of the Channel 9 Sunday program, began her career as a researcher for ABC before becoming a reporter for Channel 10 in Melbourne in 1979. In 1982 she moved to Sydney to report for Channel 9's 60 Minutes as its youngest ever, and first female reporter. Jana spent 5 years on A Current Affair from 1988, and in 1994 returned to 60 Minutes, the same year contributing as a correspondent for American CBS's 60 Minutes. In 1999 she became presenter of SBS's Dateline and in January 2003 was appointed host of Sunday. Jana is the recipient of awards including a Gold Logie and a Penguin award for Best Current Affairs.

The Packing Room Prize gives the Gallery staff who receive the entries and install the exhibition the chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. And as art critics, what judges they are!

This is the Gallery's head storeman Steve Peters 20th Archibald Prize. He has seen it all and maintains that he can select a winner in 30 seconds. Steve controls 51% of the vote. Open to bribery and corruption, he says on both counts he is still waiting. This is the Prize the artists love and dread - never has the Packing Room Prize coincided with the judges decision!

This is the 13th Packing Room Prize and previous winners include Jan Williamson for her portrait of actress Rachel Ward in 2003 and, Deny Christian for Garry McDonald in 1999, Kerrie Lester for Self portrait as a bridesmaid in 1998, Bill Leak for Tex Perkins in 1997 and Paul Newton for John Laws in 1996. Evert receives $500.

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Finalist list
The Citigroup Private Bank Australian Photographic Portrait Prize Finalist list
The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Press Release
The Citigroup Private Bank Australian Photographic Portrait Prize Press Release

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
Telephone (02) 9225 1744 or toll-free 1800 679 278
Exhibition Dates: Saturday 27 March to Sunday 16 May 2004

Jan Batten

Telephone: (02) 9225 1791 or 0418 279 348

Jacqueline Belcher

Telephone: (02) 9225 1752 or 0423 199 206

Image: Evert Ploeg's winning Packing Room Prize portrait of Jana Wendt.