I have been entering the Bald Archy since 2001 (missed some years, rejected some years) when I was accepted and sold the work. It is a portrait competition – with a difference.
It is a wonderful competition, judged by Maude, a sulphur crested cockatoo. Peter Batey, the curator, reckons if the Archibald can be judged down in Sydney by a bunch of galahs, then Maude can do the job pretty well. He says that one year, an entry arrived covered in sunflower seeds – an obvious judge bribe.
It has become a practice for me to paint my entry after Christmas while listening to the cricket on the radio. It is exciting to have been accepted again this year – always thrilling. The accepted entries go on a year tour of galleries around Australia – it is coming to Queensland again this year – 16th June to 16th July at the Grand View Hotel Gallery, 49 North Street, Cleveland Point ($5 admission).
My entry this year is St Gazza – you can see the others in my history of entering, through the Bald Archy link in the Portrait section on my web site.
St. Gazza – Patron Saint of Holy Rolls
Acrylic on Canvas (some Collage) Size: 76w by 102h cms
Nathan once was groundsman
on those sacred hallowed grounds.
Now this name of lowly serf
throughout the grounds resounds.
Who knew he had the power?
Who knew he had the might?
Off spinning down the wicket –
right out of batters’ sight.
Each ball brings forth reaction –
each ball the crowd does carry.
Each person joins the cricket chant
with keeper “Nice one, Garry!”
The Miracle of Boxing Day
brought sainthood when he bowled,
with thousands chanting prayer,
a third-ball spinner gold.
A spinning saint revealing
to believers “Cricket’s Zion”.
Thank God Australia has him –
St. Gazza: Nathan Lyon.