Archibald prize 2014

‘I have known Wendy Arnold for 18 years,’ says Mariola Smarzak. ‘We have worked together in the Rozelle studios, sharing many hours together, exchanging ideas and having a great time. Her generous spirit and positive attitude is very infectious, somehow inspiring many of us to become more adventurous in our artistic endeavours. ‘During one of our gatherings, I noticed a very calm and meditative expression on her face. I thought I would like to capture this moment in my painting. Usually I paint in quite an abstract way, however, I am interested in portraiture as well. When I paint portraits, the subject, being external, confronts me in a different way. Depicting someone in a painting can also tell a lot about yourself. It’s not always comfortable but it’s fascinating.’