The very first artwork secured for 'Wax On' was Adam Cullen's portrait of local Shire legend Mark Occhilupo. It was painted for the AGNSW's one-off 'Sporting Portrait Prize' back in 2000, the same year in which Cullen won the Archibald Prize with his painting of David Wenham (who, incidentally, I saw this morning in my local cafe while I was having a meeting with our catalogue designer David Corbet). Roy Slaven and HG Nelson judged the Sporting Archie along with director Edmund Capon who later remarked that Cullen "probably painted his ... entry... with his own vomit and that it was, therefore, in the eyes of my sensitive colleagues, ineligible on technical grounds."
We're thrilled to have been able to borrow the controversial work from the Australian National Maritime Museum for the show but I've always wanted to find a companion portrait of an outstanding female surfer to hang alongside it.
Today I spoke with Pam Burridge who won the World Title back in 1990 aged 25 and she's agreed to sit for the rockin' Gold Coast artist Abbey McCulloch next weekend!
I remember surfing with Pam in a heat during the 1978 Pepsi-Golden Breed Pro Junior at Manly. Needless to say she ripped the bikini right off of me as she shredded her way to the top but we hooked up again later that year for the inaugural meeting of the NSW Branch of the Australian Womens Surfriders Association. I recall that she was nominated President and I was elected Treasurer but my 15 year old brain just wasn't up to the task of managing all that sponsorship so I bailed and went back to soul surfing.
It's a blast to know that we'll be representing the chick that Tracks magazine dubbed " a fully stoked surf rat" and that Abbey, who's now been hung twice in the Archibald (with her portrait of Toni Collette in 2007 and this year with my mug as pictured) will do the honours. You can be assured it wont look like vomit!