Late Breaking Extra: Margaret Olley Worried, Archibald Drawing!

News May 19, 2004 No Comments

You know, we thought Margaret Olley was maybe off with the pixies – having spoken to her on a few occasions we weren’t sure whether she was play-acting the mad old biddy routine and was secretly Buddha-like beneath the cardigans and pearls, or perhaps she was living out her old age in manner to which she has become accustomed. Well, we were wrong – she is a wise Sphinx after all. Elizabeth Fotescue had this small item in today’s The Daily Telegraph today, on page 9:

“Artist Margaret Olley last night weighed into the Archibald debate, branding Craig Ruddy’s winning entry a “drawing”.

As soon as she saw the picture of actor David Gulpilil at The Art Gallery of NSW, she thought: “Here’s trouble”.

“I wondered why it hadn’t been entered in the Dobell Prize for Drawing,” Olley said yesterday.

Artist Tony Johansen is taking the Gallery’s trustees to court for awarding 2004 Archibald Prize to Ruddy, claiming his picture breached the rules by being a drawing, not a painting.

Olley said the drawing “worried” her.

“If they aren’t careful… each year there will be huge big drawings in the exhibition,” she said.

“I think we should stick to whatever [Archibald] wanted otherwise you are changing his wishes,” Olley said.

Andrew Frost

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