Nicky Darvall (left) with her portrait painted by sister Molly Darvall (right), winner of the People's Choice Award as part of the 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.
Nicky Darvall (left) with her portrait painted by sister Molly Darvall (right), winner of the People's Choice Award as part of the 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.

Kyogle teen wins People’s Choice Award on portrait prize

Kyogle artist Molly Darvall, 18, was named the winner of the Friends of the Gallery People’s Choice Award as part of the 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.

Darvall created the oil portrait of her sister as part of her High School Certificate Visual Arts subject in 2020.

It was selected for Artexpress, an exhibition of HSC art students across the state, but Darvall instead chose to have the work included in the Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.

Born in Brisbane and raised in Kyogle, the artist recently graduated from Year 12 at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore.

She is about to move to Melbourne, where she will be studying visual arts at the University of Melbourne.

“The painting is of my little sister Nicky, she is 16,” she said.

“I feel really personal towards it, because it’s Nicky and I just felt more comfortable painting her.

“We have a really strong bond.

“Capturing the essence of my little sister in fluttered emotions extends our needs to confide and disguise our emotions in youth culture.

“She is freed and enlightened, however, protected by the realities of perception which are hindered by teenage insecurities.”’

Nicky Darvall (left) with her portrait painted by sister Molly Darvall (right), winner of the People's Choice Award as part of the 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.
Nicky Darvall (left) with her portrait painted by sister Molly Darvall (right), winner of the People's Choice Award as part of the 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.

Ms Darval has won a cash prize of $1000 donated from Friends of the Gallery.

“The prize really helps me out because I’m moving, but it’s also great to kickstart my art business in Victoria,” she said.

Molly Darval was also a finalist in the 2019 Frankie magazine Good Stuff Awards with another one of her artworks.

The 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize is a national portrait prize open to any media.

The 2020 judge, Abdul Abdullah, named Antoinette O’Brien as the winner of the $10,000 acquisitive prize, for her portrait of Helen Deravenchecko.

Abdullah also recognised Michelle Dawson with a highly commendation for her portrait of the late Vera Wasowski.

Detail of Molly Darvall's portrait of her sister Nicky, winner of the People's Choice Award as part of the 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.
Detail of Molly Darvall's portrait of her sister Nicky, winner of the People's Choice Award as part of the 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.


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