Doug Moran National Portrait Prize Finalist

Posted on November 4, 2022


Tony Albert and Vincent Namatjira’s portrait ‘Blackfella Bananas’ has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

Artist Statement: Vincent
Sometime in 2018 not long after I’d first met Tony we did a TV interview together at the ABC studios in Sydney. They had this painting of the Bananas in Pyjamas there that you could stand behind and put your head through a hole – so of course Tony and I got a photo as the blackfella bananas! At the time it was just a bit of fun, but later on I thought it was something important. As a kid growing up I never saw many Aboriginal people on tv, on the kids’ shows or anything like that. That’s maybe why I loved to watch footy – just to see other Aboriginal people proud and strong on the TV. My daughters are growing up now and it’s been good for them to be able to see more Aboriginal faces of TV; on Play School, Black Comedy, on the news, wherever. Who knows, maybe one day kids will be watching the ‘Blackfella Bananas’ starring me and Tony!

Artist Statement:Tony
Vincent is an artist but more importantly a cultural leader. He was one of the instigators of the important ‘Weapons for the Soldier exhibition’, which invited 15 Australian artists to respond and exhibit alongside the young men of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. I was fortunate to be one of these artist and from this initial introduction an incredible friendship was forged. On a recent visit to my place in Brisbane, Vincent and I were looking at photos of us together. Given our reciprocal cheeky nature, we were both keen to collaborate on a painting based on a memory of us as ‘Blackfella Bananas’. A story from a moment captured in ABC Studios in Sydney. The more I look at this memory and absurdity of this time the more I draw out of it.



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