Mia Boe: Finalist in the Archibald Prize 2024

Mia Boe’s portrait of Tony Armstrong has been awarded as a finalist of the Archibald Prize 2024 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

Keen to paint Armstrong because he is ‘so likeable and joyful’, Mia Boe remarked on how her sitter was ‘hard-working and committed to sharing stories. He is an amazing example not only for First Nations people, but for all people.’

Armstrong, a former AFL player and current television presenter and producer, visited Boe’s Melbourne studio for the sitting. Boe explain how the two ‘talked about life, pressure in the public eye, and connection with mob. We also discussed portraits we liked. I showed him William Dargie’s portrait of Albert Namatjira [which won the 1956 Archibald Prize], as I wanted to convey that same sense of complicated emotions in the eyes that Dargie was able to portray’.

A first-time Archibald finalist, Boe decided on Armstrong as a fitting subject for her first entry into the acclaimed prize, explaining how ‘[she] wanted to show that, despite Tony’s new fame, he has an inner world of doubts and turmoil that he doesn’t share with the country. I [Boe] wanted to juxtapose reality and myth, joy and tribulation, and create a sense of your surroundings not feeling real.’

The Archibald Prize 2024 will be on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, from 8 June – 8 September 2024. The winner of the prize will be announced on 7 June 2024.

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2024
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Gadigal Country
Naala Nura, Lower level 2
8 June – 8 September 2024; touring thereafter.