WHEN Premier Mike Rann comes out to play, we hope the Archibald judges don’t run away!

Eden Hills artist Avril Thomas captured South Australia’s head honcho in a painting she’s called Big Boys Toys as her latest entry in the acclaimed portrait competition, the Archibald Prize.

“He has little replicas of boats, planes, because his mother used to build Spitfires (when the Rann family lived in Kent during the WWII “blitz”) and (items) of interests in overseas trade, so there’s a reference to that as well,” she says.

“There’s a little Hindu sculpture given to him, and the eyeball from the last (Adelaide) Festival, binoculars from his father . . . and because environmental issues are so hot I added a gum tree as well.”

Subjects for the Archibald must be nationally or internationally known in the arts, politics or science, and in the past Avril painted former Liberal foreign minister Alexander Downer.

But she doesn’t know who’s next on her wishlist.

“I just play it by ear” Avril says with a laugh.

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Premier Mike Rann at Avril Thomas studio for the unveiling of “Big Boys Toys” during speeches
The Big Boys Toys – Oil on canvas by Avril Thomas, Portrait of Premier Mike Rann