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Matthew Clarke Del Kathryn Barton is a good listener

acrylic on canvas

184.5 x 121.5 cm

Del Kathryn Barton has won the Archibald Prize twice – with a self-portrait in 2008 and a portrait of actor Hugo Weaving in 2013. Her 2011 painting of actor Cate Blanchett is included in the Archie 100 exhibition celebrating a centenary of the prize.

Matthew Clarke’s connection with Barton began when she saw his work on Instagram. ‘We liked each other’s work and became friends messaging online,’ says Clarke. ‘I went to her studio so I could get a feel for her personality and physical characteristics. She listened and wanted to know about me and my processes.

‘Del was wearing a colourful pyjama suit that she thought would match my palette. I only drew two sketches and the rest I stored as feelings and thoughts that ran straight into the painting.

‘As an artist who suffers with mental illness, I admire Del for her work with The Dax Centre in Melbourne, which works with emerging artists with mental health issues and provides a safe, supportive environment for them to exhibit their work.’

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