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All the Colours of the Rainbow

Sydney artist and Unisson Supported Independent Living client, Victoria Atkinson, 50, was recently named as a finalist in the 2021 Archibald Prize out of 938 entries for her portrait of Federal MP for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman.

Victoria’s colourful portrait, “Trent Mango Tree, all the colours of the rainbow, Trent” was shortlisted with 51 other diverse entries and was among the highlights at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Victoria is known for her use of bold colours and energetic lines and describes the portrait as a colourful rainbow. “I like painting with lots of colours and added a bright yellow background to make the painting happy,” says Victoria. Both the vibrant colours of nature and Zimmerman himself, inspired Victoria’s artwork.

Victoria is a member of Studio A, NSW’s only supported studio for professional artists with intellectual disability. The Crows Nest-based social enterprise provides professional pathways for their artists so that they can achieve their artistic and economic aspirations. Zimmermann sat for Victoria at the studio where she produced several sketches before painting his portrait. Take a look at Victoria’s full artist profile.

Starting at a young age, Victoria has learnt to paint a range of subjects including people, still-life and the natural world. She also works with textiles and is developing her skills in digital art. “For my whole life I’ve been doing art,” adds Victoria. “I like painting the Titanic and I love painting turtles. They’re my favourites.”

Luke Passfield, Acting Team Leader at Victoria’s home in Hornsby said the Archibald nomination was exciting news for Victoria and her family. “Victoria’s mother, Noel Atkinson, and her three sisters are so proud of her achievement and have been thrilled with her selection as a finalist in this prestigious competition.”

The Archibald Prize exhibition is on at the Art Gallery of NSW until September. Visit to see Victoria’s painting and vote in the 2021 People’s Choice Awards.

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