Blue Mountains artist Matthew Lynn wins with portrait of novelist and former model Tara Moss.

Mathew Lynn has won the 2013 Archibald Packing Room Prize for his portrait of the novelist, television presenter, journalist and former model. An outspoken advocate for the rights of women and children, since 1999 Moss has also written nine best-selling novels, which have been published in 18 countries in 12 languages. Her non-fiction writing has appeared in numerous publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Literary Review and The Australian. A genuine polymath, she has earned her private investigator credentials from the Australian Security Academy and is currently undertaking a Doctorate of Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.

Lynn was apparently inspired by Moss’s public advocacy and unique public persona. After becoming friends, he says he wanted to paint “a very straightforward, direct and open portrait that also celebrates her physical presence and style, and that would particularly express her natural engagement, gentleness, and even a little of her fierce determination and strength.”

The Packing Room Prize gives the Gallery staff a chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. Lynn has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize on 12 previous occasions. It is worth noting, however, that the Packing Prize winner has never gone on to win the Archibald Prize itself.

Finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were also announced today. Leading contenders for the Archibald would have to include Del Kathryn Barton’s portrait of Hugo Weaving, Julia Ciccarone’s portrait of Nicholas Jones, Mertim Gokalp’s portrait of the late Bille Brown, Jasper Knight’s portrait of Adam Cullen, Abbey McCulloch’s portrait of Naomi Watts, Abdul Abdullah’s portrait of Anthony Mundine, Michael Vale’s portrait of Warren Ellis, and Alexander McKenzie’s portrait of Toni Collette.

The winners will be announced next Friday, March 22.