Amanda Davies wins 2017 Portia Gecah Memorial Award

Published by: S.H. Ervin Gallery | 31-Oct-2017
Tasmanian based artist Amanda Davies has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Portia Geach Memorial Award, the pre-eminent portraiture prize for women in Australia. @S.H.Ervin Gallery #PortiaGeach2017 @shervingallery
Venue: S.H. Ervin Gallery
Address: Watson Road, Observatory Hill,, The Rocks
Call: 292580173
First awarded in 1965, The Portia Geach Memorial Award was established by Florence Kate Geach in memory of her sister, artist Portia Geach. As per the direction of the will, the Award is annually presented to an Australian female artist for the best portrait painted from life of a man or woman distinguished in art, letters or the sciences.

As trustee of the Award, Perpetual, presented Ms Davies with the $30,000 prize for her portrait of renowned contemporary photographer Pat Brassington.

On the painting Amanda Davies said, "Pat Brassington was born in Hobart and is one of Australia"s leading photo media artists. Influenced by surrealism, feminism and fetishism, Pat has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. Awarded the inaugural Don Macfarlane Prize in 2017 in honour of her life and artistic ambitions her work can be seen in the exhibition Pat Brassington: The Body Electric at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until 11February 2018.

Wedding dresses are a recurring motif in her work such as Drink Me (1997) and Akimbo (1999). Years ago I photographed Pat in her wedding dress, for a painting that was never made. 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. Pat and I share a love for female country and folk singers, beautiful voices and crushing dark lyrics. Gillian Welch in Miss Ohio sings: "An" mama starts pushing that wedding gown, Yeah you want to do right but not right now".

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