By Esther Lauaki
Olivia’s baby brother is her muse.
The 13-year-old Braemar College student earned one of five finalist spots in her age group in this year’s Young Archie competition for aspiring artists.
The competition, run by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is a junior edition of the prestigious Archibald Prize awarded annually for the best portrait.
Oliver, of her then 16-month-old brother Dalton, was selected as a finalist from 1400 entries and will be on display in Sydney until September 9.
She titled the piece
Oliver after the nickname she gave her younger sibling when he was born.
Mum Dina Xiao said the painting depicted his “cheeky character and his ability to bring a smile to everyone’s face”.
“When Olivia was young, she always wanted to call her brother Oliver because it sounded like her name,” Ms Xiao said.
“They have a typical siblings relationship – they get along well, but she doesn’t like it when he touches her things.
“She has always loved to paint … every day she would be painting something.”
Olivia has painted a number of portraits of Dalton, Ms Xiao said.
“It gives her a lot of encouragement to be a finalist in the Young Archie awards,” she said. “We are very proud of her.”