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2018 Sulman Prize Winner Announced


Indigenous artist Kaylene Whiskey has taken out the 2018 Sulman Prize for her work ‘Kaylene TV’.

Hosted by Art Gallery of New South Wales, this award rounds out the Aussie art-world equivalent of The Oscars (Archibald, Wynne, and Sulman), and is presented to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.

We present Kaylene’s imaginative, poptastic depiction of a festive lounge room scene, alongside some of our other favourite finalists.

12th May, 2018

Wendy Sharpe’s ‘Erskineville train station’, oil on canvas, 145x83cm. Photo – Jenni Carter, courtesy of Art Gallery of NSW.

George Raftopoulos’ ‘Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte in the 21st century’, oil and watercolour on linen, 51x76cm. Photo – Mim Stirling, courtesy of Art Gallery of NSW.

Natalya Hughes’ ‘Woman II’, acrylic on poly-cotton, 150.5×109.5cm. Photo – Felicity Jenkins, courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.

Karen Black’s  ‘Body shell’, acrylic and oil on linen, 157x126cm. Photo – Felicity Jenkins, courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.

Jaye Early’s ‘Absurdist video art is an acquired taste’, synthetic polymer paint and fluorescent tape on canvas, 122x122cm. Photo –Jenni Carter, and David Griggs’ ‘Diaspora is a word, so is holy crap’, oil on canvas, 214x152cm. Photo – Felicity Jenkins. Both courtesy of Art Gallery NSW. Please note, artworks are not pictured to scale.

Philjames’ ‘Jesus falls the second time’, oil on vintage offset lithograph, 121×95.5cm. Photo – Mim Stirling, courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.

Joan Ross’ ‘Future Hawke (what have we done to you)’, hand-painted digital collage, 111x79cm. Photo – Felicity Jenkins, courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.

Kiata Mason’s ‘The artist’s table’, acrylic on canvas, 94.5x126cm. Photo –Jenni Carter, courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.

Gregory Hodge’s  ‘Ceremony’, arcylic on canvas, 198.5x153cm. Photo – Mim Stirling, courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.

Abdul Abdullah’s ‘Untitled’, oil and aerosol on linen, 156x125cm. Photo – Felicity Jenkins, courtesy of Art Gallery of NSW.

2018 Sulman Prize-winning artwork, Kaylene Whiskey’s ‘Kaylene TV’, acrylic on linen, 76x101cm. Photo – Felicity Jenkins, courtesy of Art Gallery of NSW.

Photography – as credited, courtesy of Art Gallery NSW. Please note, artworks are not pictured to scale.

Elle Murrell
Saturday 12th May 2018

The winner of the 2018 Sulman Prize is Kaylene Whiskey, an Indigenous artist working with the Iwantja Arts centre in the Indulkana community of Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, in remote north-western South Australia.

On Friday, Kaylene has been awarded the $40,000 prize, presented by Art Gallery of NSW, and this year adjudicated by guest judge contemporary artist Angela Tiatia.

‘I like to listen to rock music and Tina Turner, and I paint with really strong colours, I put in lots of the special details, and everyone likes it,’ reads Kaylene’s artist statement on the Iwantja Arts website. ‘I paint strong stories too, paintings about heaven and Jesus, and sometimes Mintabie (local mining town,) and paintings about my country Indulkana. Sometimes my paintings tell hard stories, but my paintings are always colourful and painting them makes me happy.’

Established by the bequest of architect Sir John Sulman, this prize was first awarded in 1936. In 2018, 17 finalists were selected from 525 entries, with 59% of finalists taking part for the first time.

The Sulman Prize spans ‘genre paintings’ (a composition representing some aspect or aspects of everyday life, and may feature figurative, still-life, interior or figure-in-landscape themes), or ‘subject paintings’ (more idealised or dramatized and typically, taking its theme from history, poetry, mythology or religion), with both cases encompassing figurative, representative, abstract or semi-abstract styles. In addition, ‘a mural’ (fixed directly to a wall or ceiling as part of an architectural and/or decorative scheme) can be entered too.

Huge congratulations to Kaylene Whiskey, Iwantja Arts, and all the other incredible artists participating this year!

View the winners of The Archibald and The Wynne in our latest News Stories. You can also view all finalists for the 2018 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes at

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2018
May 12th to September 19th
Major Exhibition Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery Road, Domain, New South Wales.


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