Culture Buff

Paul Newton

29 August 2020

9:00 AM

29 August 2020

9:00 AM

Things are starting to happen culturally, at least outside of Victoria.

Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre is rehearsing a play to open on 16 September for five weeks. It is a two-hander adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own to be played to an audience of 120, just a third of the theatre’s capacity. The fact that I think the corona virus restrictions are now absurd is beside the point; Belvoir is to be congratulated on finding a way to get going.


Another welcome sign of life is the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes which are returning. Entries having been delivered to the Art Gallery of NSW, no doubt in a Covid-safe manner, finalists will be announced on 17 September with the exhibition from 26 September to 10 January, 2021.

I do hope that the finalists include Paul Newton’s portrait of Maggie Tabberer. Portraits by Paul Newton have been hung in the Archibald on thirteen occasions; indeed his first portrait of Maggie Tabberer was a finalist 21 years ago. I have seen Paul’s latest portrait of Maggie; it is a beautiful portrait of a beautiful woman. A major figure in fashion and public relations, Maggie began her career as a model having been ‘discovered’ by photographer Helmut Newton who knew a good look when he saw one.

Paul Newton has works in numerous public collections including six portraits alone in the National Portrait Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

I hope I haven’t jinxed his chances in this year’s Archibald.

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