Archibald Portrait entrant In the 2018 competition was of Country music legend Warren H Williams. Local artist of Norfolk Island Adam Jauczius (Yow-chus) completed his entry for the 2018 Archibald Portrait Prize – Warren.. Adam wanted to paint Warren after meeting him at Norfolk’s Country Music Festival last year. They later spent time together in Alice Springs and Hermannsburg - Warren’s home place – doing sittings, an extensive photo shoot and getting to know each other better.
Journeying to Australia’s heartland, and seeing the harsh, desert country which inspired Albert Namatjira (also from Hermannsburg) was an amazing experience for Adam: “At school they had lots of Namatjira prints on the walls, and their colour and intensity fascinated me. I’ve been with the Weather Bureau for many years, and lived in starkly beautiful, remote outback places, so I really related to Warren’s obvious love, and respect, for his land and culture. His passion for music is similar, too, to the way I feel about painting.”
Adam came back to Norfolk wanting to convey something of Warren’s spirit and soul, not simply a likeness, in the portrait and has been working intensively on the large piece (1 x 1.5 m) for the past three months. “Feels like Home” depicts Warren, at peace, sitting in front of the old Mission Church at Hermannsburg; just before sunset. The Archibald Portrait Prize is awarded annually, and is one of the most prestigious art competitions in Australia. In 2017 it attracted over 800 entries, and Adam knows that his work may not even be selected; only 40-50 paintings are hung each year, but he truly doesn’t mind.
Adam showed Warren the portrait a few days ago and got a great response: “He was overwhelmed and just said ‘Wow!’ Painting a portrait is no easy thing; it’s a promise, and I take it seriously. I promise to try and show who you are, and put that down on canvas. I’m happy with the picture... and Warren likes it, so anything else that happens will just be icing on the cake.”