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“Chatelaine” - The Brisbane Portrait Prize 2019

Lady of the (Hanworth) house, Marisa Vecchio

“The Brisbane Portrait Prize creates opportunities for portrait artists and encourages cultural tourism and public engagement with the arts by combining celebrity and portraiture.” Visit the BPP website here.

In its inaugural year, the excitement within the arts community is huge. Everybody wants to be part of the journey, and rightly so.

The brief is simple. Both you as the artist and your subject must have a connection to Brisbane. Not only have I made a prize brief connection, but a lifelong connection and friend in the process.

My piece explores a variety of concepts, placing a modern day 2019 Marisa in the footsteps of her predecessor, Mary Weinholt, original founder of Hanworth House more than 100 years ago. Dressed in a 1920’s inspired tea dress created with permission from the archives of the Miegunyah House Museum, Marisa represents a century long evolution of philanthropic Brisbane women and their support for the well being of fellow women, who have found refuge within the walls of Hanworth House. Read more about Marisa and her beloved Hanworth here.

For me personally, we also connected through our shared experience of surviving breast cancer. Not exactly a club one seeks to be a part of, but when you come out the other side victorious, you and your fellow survivors share silent (and occasionally vocal) ‘high fives’ for life.

What a wonderful recipe this project has been.

The Ingredients: A curatorial idea, 100 years of Brisbane living, architecture, provenance of women, fashion, cancer awareness, philanthropy and motherhood.

The Method: Recruit a talented team of friends & family to help bring your prize entry to life. One of my best gal pals Deborah (The Embroiderer’s Guild) and her incredible embroidery talent, my youngest daughter Emily (Eego Styling) and her skills in all things hair and makeup and of course I couldn’t paint without an image to work from, close Goldsworthy family friend Carly (Marly Art Design) to compose and create the vision through the lens.

Stir all the above together and bake aka ‘paint’ for 6 months.

Well folks - all that cooking was worth it because I am very happy to have had my piece, ‘Chatelaine’ selected as a finalist for the inaugural year of the Brisbane Portrait Prize. Please take a few minutes to watch the story of my piece come to life in the short video below. Enjoy!

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