Hunter sisters’ strong bond inspires artwork for Young Archies prize

Creative: Shravanya Tummala, with Shloka, likes gouache paint. “The colour really pops and it’s very fresh”. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Creative: Shravanya Tummala, with Shloka, likes gouache paint. “The colour really pops and it’s very fresh”. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

SHRAVANYA Tummala’s tribute to her much-loved younger sister has earned her one of the region’s most prestigious art prizes.

Her work – Cheerful – featuring her sister Shloka, aged seven, has won the 13 to 15 year old category of the Young Archie Newcastle competition.

“I feel quite excited and happy and overwhelmed,” Shravanya, 14, said.

“I did not think I would win – I just wanted to paint my sister.

“She’s always happy and I’ve never seen her too sad, ever.

“When I do bright paintings I think of her – we’re very close and she’s my friend as well as my sister. 

“We both like drawing and painting so we connect in that sense.

“We tell each other most things and help each other out with school and sport. I’m lucky – we still fight a lot, but it’s over very quickly.”

Shravanya began dabbling in art when she joined Newcastle Grammar, where she is in year 10, and has been taking private lessons with teacher Peter Lankas for three years.

“It’s a hobby – it’s very bright and you can do anything you like,” she said.

“It’s very expressive. When I get older I want to study science, which is more theoretical – it will be good to have a balance between the two.”

Shravanya started by drawing and painting with watercolours, but only discovered lesser-known gouache paint this year.

Newcastle Grammar’s director of creative and performing arts Tonia Martin said Shravanya was a “studious, motivated, talented and humble” artist with an innate skill for using colour.

More than 300 Hunter based artists entered the competition. Iris Alder won the 5-8 year old category; Rose Morton won the 9 -12 year old category; and Tulley Powell won the 16-18 year old category.

Five finalists from each category are on display at Newcastle Art Gallery, in conjunction with the Archibald Prize 2017 regional tour.