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‘Charlotte Drake-Brockman is a charismatic 84-year-old artist who resides in the small rural township of Murrurundi, New South Wales. Locally Charlotte has a reputation as a firebrand, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. But the tough persona belies a kind, generous woman,’ says David Darcy.
‘When I moved to Murrurundi 18 months ago, Charlotte was the first local to invite me over for a beer. Her zest for life, defiant attitude towards authority, generous spirit and the fact that she still mows her own lawn inspired me. Being the new artist in town, I felt painting a portrait of this local character would help connect me to my new community,’ says Darcy.
‘Charlotte recently lost her partner of 42 years and it’s evident from our conversations he is greatly missed. But life goes on. I wanted the painting to portray a woman who is strong, unconventional, comfortable in her aged skin, flamboyant and still formidable. A woman who has lived a full life and commands her own space.’
Born in the Blue Mountains in 1972, Darcy is a self-taught artist who took up full-time painting 18 months ago. This is his first time in the Archibald Prize, though he was selected for last year’s Salon des Refusés.