The 2023 Victorian Salon des Refusés
This portrait was submitted to the 2023 Archibald Prize.
click on artwork to enlarge
Cat#17 Kenneth S. Hunt
Oil on Stretched Canvas
91 w x 122 h cm
For this year’s Archibald my sitter/subject is a man named Arnold Dix. This humble, unassuming man who lives in Monbulk, Victoria, is actually a well-known and sought-after person on the world stage. He travels the world in his capacity as an underground tunnel engineer, advisor, and inspector. Arnold is also a brilliant barrister, scientist, and professor. He is the perfect subject for a painting that is created of a worthy Australian who features both here and on the world stage.
Professor Arnold Dix has achieved and continues to deliver to the world an ongoing brilliance in many fields. His expertise, knowledge, kindness, and love are delivered to many places, countries and people both rich and poor. The world can’t get enough of our Arnold and for good reason. Yet when at home he just blends into the community, as the person I have come to know Arnold is the most humble, gentle, lovely man that you could ever meet. He is also a little eccentric and has been fun to get to know and now create a painting of. At home on his hobby farm Arnold enjoys being with his lovely wife Divina and family plus he enjoys his menagerie of animals chooks, donkeys and emus. There are 3 emus that have been raised form hatchlings. When Arnold enters their pen, they immediately want to be with him so there are lots of cuddles.
In my painting I have attempted to capture a little of the essence of the man and the diversity of his work and home life. The painting of Arnold embracing with one of his emus inside an underground tunnel will make people curious, if nothing else.
The world knows and loves this man for a huge number of reasons and it’s time that his own country, Australia, understands what and who this great man actually is.
For me this will be the 18th Archibald entry over 23 years. And a great subject. I don’t chase subjects/sitters, they come to me in various ways and the most common way it is that they walk into my jewellers’ shop located in Monbulk and we have a chat about the paintings that are ever present on the walls.
I am a fairly traditional artist who paints in oil paint by hand with no airbrush and projection. I style my work similar to those of the Renaissance era in the 15th and 16th centuries. I am mostly self-taught although an artist is always being influenced by many people and factors that come into our lives. Artwork by my father and my great grandfather on my mother’s side, have had the greatest influence. Studying past great artists, their work, and techniques have contributed to my work.
This year and this entry are but another in my journey as an artist. I hope you enjoy my work.