Finalists in the 2024 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize

Finalists in the 2024 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize


We are delighted to share that Zaachariaha Fielding and Idiko Kovacs have been announced as finalists in the 2024 Wynne and Sulman Prizes.

Winner of the 2023 Wynne Prize, Zaachariaha Fielding has been named as a finalist in both the Wynne and Sulman Prizes. About his work in the Sulman Prize, Zaachariaha states: “I am one of nine children, Robert and Kay’s oldest. Since my birth, the songs of my Country have filled my soul. Alongside their beautiful lessons, came my responsibility to protect and celebrate this knowledge. These songs will always be the most immense joy of my life, my anchor and my kurunpa (spirit). They kept me safe as I grew up in one of the toughest places in Australia, amongst violence and sickness. While the brightest and loudest discussed how to close the gap, how to make First Nations people healthy and live another 20 years, Australia voted ‘no’. Some referred to my achievement of winning last year’s Wynne Prize as winning the lottery, as if it was a fluke. I’m left to wonder: will me and my mob ever have access to those ‘lucky numbers’?”

Zaachariaha Fielding, Who won the lotto?, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 200 x 152.4 cm

This work depicts the sounds of Paralpi, a special place found just outside of Mimili on the eastern part of the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, South Australia. ‘Paralpi is a place where people come to embrace and celebrate children,’ says Fielding. ‘They are taught by the Elders how to move and mimic their clan emblem, and, for Mimili, this has always been the maku (witchetty grub).’

Paralpi is an extension of Fielding’s previous Inma series (2019–23), which includes the titular work that won him the 2023 Wynne Prize. Fielding’s scratchy application of Pitjantjatjara text as a stylistic element used to outline and define Country also captures reverberations of bodies performing the act of inma (ceremonial song and dance).

‘When this inma is sung, the sounds of the soprano, alto, tenors and baritone are thick, hitting the heart and then returning to the ngura (country),’ Fielding describes. According to Fielding, who is also a finalist in the 2024 Sulman Prize, this is a cyclical process unique to Aṉangu culture, which celebrates one’s interconnectedness with the land.

Zaachariaha Fielding, Paralpi, 2023, acrylic and ink on canvas, 300 x 200 cm

About her work selected as a finalist in the Sulman Prize, Ildiko Kovacs shares: “Two-up is a gambling game played on Anzac Day. Tossing a coin upward and its inevitable falling are attributes of a certain kind of line. It isn’t a straight line, nor a singular line, but a line drawn from kinetic energy. A line fuelled with emotion, unpredictability and the excitement of chance.”

Ildiko Kovacs, Two-up, oil on wood, 220 x 90 cm

We would also like to extend our congratulations to Christopher Zanko who the gallery is excited to be working with in 2025.

Congratulations Zaachariaha, Ildiko, and all the finalists!

The Archibald, Wynne, and Sulman Prizes will be on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 8 June to 8 September 2024.