COFA graduate Del Kathryn Barton has won the Archibald for her portrait of actor Hugo Weaving, the second time she has won the prize. 

The artist described Hugo Weaving as “an Australian cultural treasure, an artist in every sense of the word”.

“For many years I have admired his work both on screen and stage. Initially I had considered a very simple pictorial approach for Hugo, a bearded man in a black suit.

"But when we sat down to discuss the portrait, I was enchanted by the rich content in his stories and felt moved to interpret and assemble a kind of personalised symbology within his portrait. More than anything I hoped to portray a sincere, deep, generous and creative soul," she said.

Barton, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from COFA, won the 2008 Archibald Prize for You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella.

She was also an Archibald finalist in 2007, and in 2011 for her portrait of actress Cate Blanchett.

Known for its vibrant, figurative imagery, Barton's work combines traditional painting techniques with contemporary design and illustrative styles.

A portrait of fellow COFA graduate and renowned video artist Shaun Gladwell, by Fiona Lowry, was a finalist in this year's prize. 

Barton's portrait hugo was chosen from 868 entries, winning the artist a cheque for $75,000.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8732