Outback Archies 2021

I don’t think I have attempted a portrait since I was at art school (many years ago!) and I was thrilled to have this painting of my daughter Darcy selected for the Outback Archies this year.

A few months ago Darcy modelled for a series of photos for a project I was working on, inspired by stories of my great grandmother’s early life growing up in the Pilliga in the early 1900s…. I kept coming back to the images and, even though I am a much better landscape painter, I just couldn’t resist having another try at portraiture!

The Outback Archies exhibition will open on Saturday 6 November 2021 at the Outback Arts gallery in Coonamble.

Stories by Lamplight‘ 2021, 51 x 86cm

//Artwork statement

My great grandmother was born in 1901 at Cuttabri. As an older woman, she would tell stories of her young life living in a bark hut on the edge of the Pilliga Scrub, speaking with great fondness of her beloved mother, who died tragically young. She told tales of wild horses, fishing on the Namoi, gathering bush food, her mother’s people and family long gone. 

My daughter was born 100 years later and was my model for this painting depicting a woman lit by lamplight, just as I imagined my great grandmother when she was young.