Founder of the Bald Archy prize and former Benalla resident Peter Batey returns with the travelling exhibition of the 2014 finalists.LIBBY PRICE July 9, 2014 3:30am
Founder of the Bald Archy portrait prize Peter Batey with his favourite from this year's exhibtion, Poet Les Murray
For the second year in a row the Bald Archy painting exhibition has returned to Swanpool.
Founder and director of the Bald Archy portrait prize Peter Batey was born in Benalla and brought the exhibition to the district last year when the school he attended, Benalla High School, celebrated its centenary.
The Benalla Art Gallery controversially rejected the exhibition which Mr Batey said ‘‘.
‘‘Last year we had huge attendances, no doubt due to the controversy.’’
The Bald Archy is judged by Mr Batey’s pet sulphur-crested cockatoo, 32-year-old Maude.
‘‘If she bobs up and down three times in front of the painting, it’s a finalist. If she screams obscenities which you couldn’t print in your esteemed newspaper, she dislikes it. She knows as much about judging art as the entire board of the Art Gallery of NSW.’’
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‘‘This year a really good style is emerging with big, bold faces,’’ Mr Batey said.
Maude’s choice was the portrait of cricketer Mitchell Johnson entitled Wrecking Balls (Ashes to Ashes) by Newcastle artist Judy Nadin. But Mr Batey’s favourite is the Xavier Ghazi portrait of poet, Les Murray, entitled Les Murray Poet Extraordinary .
Mr Batey hopes he will eventually find a permanent home for all of the winning paintings at the National Portrait Gallery.
‘‘The Bald Archy is a deliberate act of anarchy against the particularly pompous Archibald prize for portraiture and my frustration at the way arts money is spent across regional Australia to supposedly promote arts when it’s wasted on things like a $1500 grant to teach kids how to decorate their bikes,’’ he said.
The exhibition opened at the Swanpool and District Memorial Hall on Friday, July 4 and will run until July 20.
The late Margaret 'Dharrul' Wirrpanda has joined Mooroopna's Alf 'Uncle Boydie' Turner as an inductee this year into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club has confirmed the appointment of Brendan Fevola as co-coach for season 2015.
Goulburn Valley Fins and Fenders Car Club is getting ready to host its second annual Show and Shine event at Tatura Racecourse on Saturday, October 18.
Residents are being warned they could face severe penalties if out of control burn-offs damaged someone else’s property.
The Nanneella hall and recreation reserve committee is inviting everyone to join its clearance sale on October 25.
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Developer of the Elloura estate wants to build another road to Buckley Park among other changes.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote Community House staff are encouraging people to send a postcard to show their support.
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull visits Cobram to assist councils and incumbent MP.
Keen Deni Ute Muster fans rolled into town early for the weekend's event.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Last week's Coledale poll dorset stud ram sale was the best in the stud's 45-year history.
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