We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Zoe Young Latrell and Winmarra

acrylic, oil and rosewater on linen

diptych: 198.3 x 213.8 cm (left); 213.5 x 198.6 cm (right)

This year, Zoe Young asked her 10-year-old son Wilbur to choose the subject of her Archibald entry. He chose Latrell Mitchell, a proud Biripi and Wiradjuri man, father, farmer and rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Having received a crash course in the game of rugby league from Wilbur, Young found herself sketching on the sideline at Redfern Oval the day after Mitchell agreed to the sitting.

This diptych explores the tension between our public and private selves; in this instance Mitchell’s public life as a sporting superstar and his personal world, connecting to his family, Ancestors and Country.

Mitchell’s family farm is named after his Ancestors, known as the Winmarra, or mountain people.

‘Latrell is a great role model and incredibly grounded,’ says Young. ‘I never expected Wilbur’s wish would take me on such a profound journey, which I hope is reflected in this painting.’

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