Selected for the Hidden Faces exhibition at the Hiltom South Warf 2014.
Currently on Loan as Art Rental.
My starting point for the portrait of Beverley Pinder was to go beyond merely capturing a faithful likeness. The emotive and physical process of applying the acrylic paint wash with a full saturation of colour enables the viewer to penetrate beyond the surface.
The development of the painting included observational drawings at Beverley’s office at the Melbourne Town Hall, a sitting at my home, followed by a final sitting in my studio. By then I wanted the portrait to leap from the canvas representing Beverley’s incredible enthusiasm in everything she does.
Underlying this development is our 40 years of friendship, kindred spirit, familiarity and association. It is this shared history and the connection between the artist and the subject which has made the experience of painting Beverley’s portrait so extraordinary.
The “raw” aspects of the portrait also represent a level of human vulnerability common to us all. There was no need to “control” the process. It was as if the painting painted itself. As a diptych portrait the two panels collide and echo a repetition, creating a united composition and a sense of balance and order.
The final composition relied on my impulses of flexibility, improvisation and spontaneity: a radical turning point in my work because this alone conveyed perfectly my sense of the sitter. There were no masks, just raw beauty.
Beverley and I were high school best friends. We both share an understanding of the migrant experience. Beverley migrated with her family from Sri Lanka in the 1960’s and I migrated from Israel in 1970.
In 1978 Beverley was chosen to represent Australia in the Miss Universe Pageant. This was a time of apartheid and aboriginal land rights issues.
Beverley was the second migrant beauty queen to represent Australia since 1961. In October 2012 Beverley was elected as councillor to the City of Melbourne.
With over 40 years of friendship, Beverley’s portrait is a celebration of amity and accomplishment.