Charliese Allen, winner of the Young Archie award, 16-18yo.Credit:Joe Armao
Charliese Allens Young Archie-winning portrait of her mother holds a particularly special place in her heart.
The Sunshine West-based student painted her mother after her recovery from bowel cancer, her scar visible and her expression one of determination and defiance. Its a powerful work and the winner of 16-18 year category of the national portrait prize for children and teens held alongside the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Charliese Allens painting of her mother, Momasito, winner of the Young Archie Award 16-18 years.Credit:Christopher Snee/AGNSW
Allen was 16 when she made the painting, based on a 10-minute live sitting (Mum is super busy! she says), sketches, notes and some photographs.
Inspired by the Archibald Prize, the Young Archies invite children and teenagers to submit a portrait of someone who is special to them and plays a significant role in their life.
Judges artist Ramesh Nithiyendran and Art Gallery of New South Waless family program manager Victoria Collings selected 40 works as finalists – 10 in each age group – and 20 others were given honourable mentions, chosen from more than 2100 entries. The works are high quality and the approaches diverse.
Allen says she created the work as a sort of farewell to that very stressful, difficult time. Its okay I can leave that time and grow from it, I can leave that behind and not worry.
She knew she had to include the scar. With art a lot of times people use nudity as a vulnerable aspect, people especially women are very conscious of their bodies. My mum was a little bit sensitive about the scar. You know what mum, I love you… its like a map, you are paving the way for me to be strong.
When the news came through that she had won her category, Allen was shocked and delighted; her mother burst into tears. Even today, the now 17-year-old says looking at the portrait affects her. I poured my heart and soul into that piece… I think what powered that piece was the love.

You may also like