Constituency Statement: 2020 Archibald Prize Finalist

  • October 19, 2020

 ‘Bold’, ‘assured’ and ‘sensual’ are all words that describe the work of Emily Crockford, who has been placed as a finalist in the 2020 Archibald Prize for her piece Self-Portrait with Daddy in the Daisies, Watching the Field of Planes. Emily is one of the many fabulous neurodiverse artists who work with Studio A in Crows Nest in my electorate. Emily is a 34-year-old Sydney artist with Down syndrome.

I’m holding up—with your indulgence, Mr Deputy Speaker—a copy of the work Emily entered into the Archibald. I suspect it’s the first time an Archibald entry has been shown in the House of Representatives chamber. Emily’s portrait depicts her late father, John, who passed away in January of this year. She says that it is her ‘dream come true’ of being with her father once more. She said:

I watched him flying his beautiful planes in the fields. He made amazing models. This painting is very special to me, because he’s my lovely father.

Run by the wonderful Gabrielle Mordy, Studio A paves professional pathways for artists with an intellectual disability so they can achieve their artistic and economic aspirations. Their work is truly outstanding, and I am pleased many of their artists are receiving major commissions from government agencies and the corporate sector.

I had the pleasure of meeting Emily and the rest of the crew at Studio A last week and was treated to a sneak peek at what she’s up to next. On behalf of the community, I want to congratulate Emily and thank her for making this world a more beautiful and colourful one thanks to her incredible art.