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Very thrilled to receive the Highly Commended in the Hurford Hurdwood Portrait Prize at Lismore Regional Gallery tonight. A big thankyou to Abdul Abdullah, the great team at the gallery and Hurfords! And a big congratulations to Antoinette O'Brien for her win with her beautiful sculptural work Lacuna.

Here is my statement about my darling Vera:

“21 March 1934, (although we are pretty sure she lied about her birthdate!) -11 October 2019 My dear friend Vera Wasowski was a force of nature…a holocaust survivor who saw the ultimate revenge on Hitler being “a lifetime in which delight has reached me from a hundred sources, and been welcomed.” She lived a passionate, unconventional and uncompromising life in Australia and as a producer and researcher on This Day Tonight was at the heart of reporting some of the seminal moments in our history. She consequently forged lifetime friendships with some of our most renowned artists, journalists and political figures. Her criteria for friendship was a person without limitations…no ceilings over their heads. In the midst of a sitting for this painting, she asked me if the portrait was going to be glamorous…I said noooooo…. but it is strong! I hope it shows her command of space, the sheer force of her personality and intelligence, but also her vulnerability and the history which haunted her. Or once again, better in her own words, ‘Here’s a strange thing about me if you are ready: I carry out of the ghetto a love of life that is completely irresponsible. I carry many things, too, things that fill up my nightmares. But just as powerful is this irresponsible hunger for life, for beauty



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