A PAINTING capturing the emotion as Marrickville Council's general manager Brian Barrett addressed staff to tell them the council had been abolished is vying for the coveted Archibald Prize.
An employee of the Council, Newtown artist Helen Ferry originally presented the picture to Mr Barrett as a keepsake before deciding to enter the famous art competition.
"Some of the people at work paid to have it framed and then I looked at it and decided it wasn't finished so I asked for it back to work on it," she said with a laugh.
"I have no expectations it will win. I wanted it in there because the forced amalgamations were a moment in time that needed to be captured."
Ms Ferry said she was struck by the need to do the painting as Mr Barrett talked to gathered staff from the back of a utility while planes roared overhead at the Council's Sydenham Depot.
"I felt so proud to be a part of the Marrickville family. His speech was just right," she said.
"I thought I am going to capture that, I am going to paint that."
The amalgamation followed a community survey that returned an approval rating of 94 per cent from the community, and Mr Barrett said that staff "were clearly in shock" on the day.
"Many couldn't believe this had happened. I reminded them that each of them had contributed enormously to making Marrickville the wonderful place it is to live," he said.
"It was time to remind staff that the spirit of Marrickville lived in each of them and would become a part of the new Council if they stayed true to their community."