AIS Interpreter featured in Archibald Prize portrait

AIS Interpreter Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward was the inspiration of an Archibald Prize finalist painting by David Darcy, an artist from the small township of Murrurundi in rural New South Wales.

The journey to this final piece started last year when Ms Tjuparntarri Ward walked into David’s studio looking for art supplies.

“Over several weeks, we got to know each other and I discovered I’d met an extraordinary woman,” David said.

He described her as having “a remarkable connection to country and traditional culture, yet possessed a wonderful ability to navigate Western society with intellect, charm and good humour.”

Together, they created a portrait that not only shows David’s talents but features Daisy’s connection to her family and country.

“The paintwork on her chest is a traditional design from women’s songs that she’s entitled to perform.

The red oxide that covers her face and torso was purchased at the hardware store but is also commonly used in place of the traditional red ochre,” he said.

Not only is Daisy a sought-after storyteller, she is also a cultural and community liaison officer for regional schools, a director on the NPY (Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) Women’s Council, an artist and a strong advocate against domestic violence. She is also a respected elder of the Warakurna community and Ngaanyatjarra people of Western Australia and is now a feature of an Archibald Prize portrait.

AIS interpreter Daisy Ward was excited her portrait by artist David Darcy was featured as a finalist in the 2019 Archibald Prize. Credit: David Darcy.
AIS interpreter Daisy Ward was excited her portrait by artist David Darcy was featured as a finalist in the 2019 Archibald Prize. Credit: David Darcy.