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Congratulations to Amanda Davies who has won the Portia Geach Memorial Award 2017. The Tasmanian artist received the prize for her portrait of contemporary photographer, and fellow Tasmanian, Pat Brassington.

Established in 1965 by the late Florence Kate Geach, in memory of her sister Portia Geach, the Memorial Award recognises achievements in portraiture by contemporary Australian women artists.

Davies emerged as the winner from over 50 finalists and will take home a $30,000 prize for her achievement.

When discussing her winning portrait Davies explained her depiction of Brassington in a wedding dress, and she noted that the garment is a recurring theme in Brassington’s work.

“Years ago I photographed Pat in her wedding dress, for a painting that was never made,” Davies said. “Revisiting that theme in this painting Pat is wearing a wedding dress inside out with bra cups and seams exposed. There is a pink smear around her mouth becoming a point of leakage where the inside is outed, where identity starts to wobble, becoming unstable, oscillating- as I attempt to reveal shifting emotional states in my sitter.”

The Portia Geach Memorial Award is non-acquisitive. The goal of the prize is to support the profile of female portrait painters. Artists must portray a person distinguished in art, letters or the sciences.

The judging panel for this year’s award included Geoff Ainsworth AM, trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Samantha Meers, trustee of Art Gallery of New South Wales; and Jane Watters, director of S.H. Ervin Gallery.

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2017 Exhibition
S.H. Ervin Gallery
20 October – 26 November

Tiarney Miekus