Exhibition News

Archibald Prize-Winning Portrait by Craig Ruddy donated by the artist to Gold Coast City Gallery (Nov 2010)

Published Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Patrons visiting The Arts Centre Gold Coast are stopping in their tracks to view the Gold Coast City Gallery’s latest acquisition Prince of Darkness, Warwick Thornton by Sydney artist Craig Ruddy.

The striking backlit portrait is a very generous and significant gift donated by the artist himself. Craig Ruddy won the 2010 Archibald People’s Choice Prize for this portrait of writer/director Warwick Thornton.

Welcoming the work to the Arts Centre Gold Coast was Art Gallery Committee Chairman Patrick Corrigan who had helped to facilitate the gift.

The placement of the work beside the Arts Cinemas is significant as the portrait’s subject Warwick Thornton, was the writer and director of Australian feature film Samson and Delilah. The film was Thornton’s debut feature film and won the Caméra d'Or for Best Feature Film at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, as well as six AFI Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, along with numerous other prizes.

Ruddy was inspired and motivated by Thornton’s raw, honest film making after seeing Samson and Delilah. ‘Warwick’s strong social consciousness drives him to fearlessly tackle society’s darkest issues head on,’ he says. ‘In a dignified and sensitive manner he carries us deep into the belly of darkness yet holds up a lantern that leads us through to the light. His film gives a voice to a lost generation who find themselves at the end of a long dark tunnel.’

In 2004 Craig Ruddy was awarded both the Archibald Prize and the People’s Choice for Sydney and Melbourne exhibitions for his popular but contentious portrait of actor David Gulpilil. The portrait title – Prince of Darkness - refers to Thornton’s nickname – given to him as he often films using as few lights as possible.

Born in Sydney in 1968, Ruddy studied design and fashion illustration and worked as a commercial art director before his true passion for drawing and painting emerged in 2001. He now lives and works in Sydney, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. He has had four solo exhibitions in Sydney and one in London and has been represented in various group shows.

His most recent solo exhibition, Imago opened on Friday night at Gallery One, The Brickworks on the Gold Coast and runs till 5 December.

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