Yesterday a friend and I drove from Brisbane down to the Tweed River Gallery just over the border in New South Wales. Our visit was to see the Archibald Portrait Exhibition. It was the most perfect day and the gallery is in an idyllic setting, on a hilltop overlooking the winding Tweed River, lush farmlands below and with the mountains as a backdrop. The view reminded me so much of the Kwa Zulu Natal midlands in South Africa.
The Gallery was originally built alongside the river in 1923 moved to its present location in 2004. A modern gallery creates wonderful exhibition spaces.Narrow windows frame the spectacular views connecting the landscape to the interior.
The Gallery was packed with people – we wondered why there was such a crowd but put the crush down to the popularity of the exhibition. Then we realised that it was the last day before the Archibald moved on to another regional location, the Moree Plains Gallery.
Photography was not allowed in the exhibition so please click on the links to see images of the paintings.There were 800 entries in this year’s competition, from which 41 paintings were selected. There’s a wide range of styles, media and sizes from the huge – Ben Quilty’s winning entry of Margaret Olley
to the minute. The self portrait, October by Natasha Bieniek is the size of a matchbox - evidence that bigger is not always better.