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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 12:58 GMT
Art win for Aboriginal portrait
Craig Ruddy
Craig Ruddy, pictured with his portrait, won the A$35,000 prize
A portrait of leading Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil has won one of Australia's most prized art contests.

Artist Craig Ruddy collected the Archibald Prize for his charcoal drawing of the actor, who has starred in Crocodile Dundee and Walkabout.

Despite his star status, Gulpilil still follows the traditions of his Aboriginal community.

"David is a man who crosses the lines that still divide two contrasting worlds," said Ruddy.

"One is an infinite world of spiritual connection with the land and universe as a whole, and the other a materialistic conformation of western civilisations," he added.


Gulpilil's other film credits include Rabbit-Proof Fence and The Tracker.

But he found it difficult to reconcile his fame with his roots and suffered depression and alcoholism, including a jail spell for substance abuse.

He has now rededicated his life to his community in northern Australia and campaigns on behalf of tribal land claims and compensation for Aborigines, as well as mentoring young people.

In winning the Archibald Prize Ruddy also collected a cheque for A$35,000 (14,300).

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