WINNER 16-18 YEARS: Dead End by Midge from Rock Valley.
WINNER 16-18 YEARS: Dead End by Midge from Rock Valley.

Trans teen's self portrait wins Young Archies competition

A TRANS teen has won the 16-18 years category of the 2019 Young Archies Art Competition.

A self portrait by 16-year-old Midge, offered the first win for the artist in a art competition.

"I have depicted myself because I'm at an important stage in my life, which is, I'm figuring out my identity. Hence the title, because life is like a maze - once I actually figure out where I'm going, I hit another dead end as to who I am.

"There are three flags that make up the maze which all represent my identity: the Aboriginal flag, the Italian flag and the transgender flag.

"They are mixed together in order to show how confusing it is. The white is there as part of the Italian and trans flags, but also show that my full identity is incomplete due to the blankness."

The St John's College Woodlawn student said: "I have always liked to draw, and I joined an art class last year which got me more into art.

"At my art class, we were encouraged to create a self-portrait. So I decided to make mine about my identity, my story so far, and the struggles that many young people face," Midge said, adding the win was a surprise.

"There were so many great finalists in my category, and I had thought from the beginning that I wasn't even going to make it into the finalists."

The young artist is planning to continue pursuing art.

The competition was open to children between the ages of five and 18 years across four age categories. The winners were: Noah Keylar (5-8 years), Mally Ryall (9-12 years), Zion Joosse (13-15 years), Midge, and Grace Forster (highly commended). Peggy's Pick was Kiara McAnally's work.

The Young Archies finalists are on show at the Lismore Regional Gallery during the Archibald Prize exhibition until June 16.

Finalists are online at