WA actor Meyne Wyatt — who shot to national attention for his passionate monologue on racism and how he is treated as an Aboriginal performer — is among the famous faces being featured in this year’s Archibald Prize.
The prestigious portrait prize and exhibition — celebrating its 99th year — was delayed in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic but is now set to return with social distancing measures.
The delay gave Wyatt, who was born in Kalgoorlie, the chance to paint a self-portrait. He said he was encouraged to enter by a dedicated fan.
“My mum really, it was a COVID project and she told me to enter it,” he told 7NEWS.
The 30-year-old has appeared on screen in programs and films including Neighbours and The Sapphires, delivered his monologue at the end of an episode of the ABC’s Q&A program in June.
Taken from his play City of Gold, the monologue addresses how he is regarded as an Indigenous actor and highlights the prejudice Aboriginal people face, attracting wide-spread praise.
“I’ve taken it. No matter what, no matter how big, how small, I’ll get some racist s… on a weekly basis, and I’ll take it,” he said during one part of the monologue.
“Security guard following me around the store, asking to search my bag. Hailing down a cab to see it slow down, look at my face, then drive off. More than once, more than twice — more than once, twice, on any one occasion, yeah, that s… I’ll get weekly.”
The Archibald Prize winner will be announced on September 25 with social distancing in place when the exhibit opens at the Art Gallery of NSW the next day.
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