THE Archibald Prize 2023 Regional Tour at Mornington is winding up for its last day on 5 November, but it has created long lasting memories for at least one family.
Mornington grandmother Monica Hughes has turned the portrait exhibition into a family tradition that has so far spanned three generations.
“Every year for the past 10 years that it has been on we go as an extended family to wherever it is being held, and we have our very own competition to try and enhance the experience for the young ones,” she said.
“It all started a decade ago when my son Martin and his wife Ana, from Mount Eliza, announced they were taking their four-year-old triplets to see the portraits,” she said.
“We wondered what the children would make of it all, and that’s when I devised our own family competition, Monnie’s Choice, where the young ones in the family choose their favourite portrait, and we have a picnic where the choices are discussed and the portrait is analysed.
“The one that comes closest to my choice, Monnie’s Choice, gets first choice of a gift from a selection, and all the children really love it.
“It’s been a great way to engage the whole family with The Archibald Prize, and it also helps their understanding of art and their ability to reflect on it.”
As the children have grown, Hughes said so has their appreciation of art and their confidence in articulating what they like about it.
“For example, my granddaughter Charlotte, 14, this year chose the portrait by Iranian refugee Mostafa ‘Moz’ Azimitabar, who learned to paint with a toothbrush and coffee beans while in detention for eight years on Manus Island,” she said.
“Charlotte said the portrait and the passion with which I spoke about it brought the amazing story behind the portrait to life for her.”
The Archibald Prize 2023 Tour is at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery until Tuesday 5 November. To buy tickets or book go to mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Exhibitions/Current-exhibitions/Archibald-Prize-2023-Regional-Tour/Tickets