At the tender age of 22, India Mark has been chosen as a finalist for the Archibald Prize. It is the first time she has entered Australia’s most prestigious art competition, which has a $100,000 prize.
“It’s just incredible that she’s been selected as a finalist,” says her mother Maria Mark. “We are absolutely blown away. It is such a validating and encouraging experience for her at such an early age.”
India now lives in Thirroul, but was born and raised in Gerringong and went to Kiama High. Her mother says she began drawing when she was three and it was obvious early on she had a gift, “Our family leads a creative life, but there has been no-one of her talent before.”
Jenny Morris taught her up to Year 11 and has followed her development keenly. “She has always been a passionate and talented artist with skills and understanding well beyond her years,” she says.
India achieved many awards and prizes at high school, including from the Kiama Art Society. Her work was selected for ARTEXPRESS in her HSC year, when she achieved a Band 6 and a scholarship to study art.
She is currently doing her Masters in Fine Arts, focusing on portraits, at the National Art School in Darlinghurst.
India’s Archibald entry is one of the smallest there. As Maria explains, “She is particularly drawn to miniatures because you have to take a step closer to them and peer in, rather than take a step back as you do with larger works.”
At a recent exhibition at the Egg & Dart Gallery in Thirroul, her works sold out on the website before going on display.