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Congratulations to Zoe Young who has won the $30,000 Portia Geach Memorial Award for 2018.

As per the wishes of Florence Kate Geach, who established the award in 1965 in memory of her sister Portia, the annual award is open to portraits painted from life by female artists. 

Although the artists must be women, the sitters need not, and this year Young took out the prize with a portrait of the film and opera director Bruce Beresford titled Drawing Storyboards, 2018.

The judging panel included: Samantha Meers, Art Gallery of New South Wales trustee; Natalie Wilson, curator of Australian and Pacific art at AGNSW; and director of S.H Ervin Gallery Jane Watters.

In a joint statement the judges said of the winning work, “This narrative, figurative painting gives us an insight into the working life of the sitter, film director Bruce Beresford. Beresford is the central focus of the work but is surrounded by a series of smaller scenes which show the creative process behind his work. Zoe Young has painted this tonal work with expressive brushwork enlivening the picture and giving the impression of viewing an intimate moment with the sitter as he sits deep in contemplation.”

“I am thrilled and honoured to have received this important award which celebrates the work of women painters,” said Young when the prize was announced.

“The Portia Geach is vital for female artists across the country and has provided a much-needed platform to display the work of young, emerging artists alongside that of established painters whose work I greatly admire. The award gives me the support to progress my artistic practice and I look forward to creating my next body of work.” 

Works by all 50 finalists are on view at the S.H. Ervin Gallery until 2 December. 

Portia Geach Memorial Award Exhibition
S.H. Ervin Gallery
12 October – 2 December

Art Guide Australia