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'Le mariage' is selected as a finalist in this year's Archibald.

Artist statement:

I first met Abdul Abdullah at the WA Lester Portrait prize many years ago. I greatly admire his work and spirit, and when I asked him to sit for a portrait he kindly said yes. I never intended to paint for the Archibald as that always puts pressure on the outcome. I wanted the painting to tell a story. On the day we agreed to meet, he was down from Sydney meeting with his then fiancée Amrita Hepi (multi disciplinary artist). I thought it would be wonderful if she came along too. We played in the space of my studio, no fixed composition in mind but I soon realized how connected they were. The two of them have such a wonderful natural energy together. The love and adoration that Abdul has for Amrita was beautiful and vice versa, so that became the core of the painting and in anticipation of their marriage. Hence the painting’s title.


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