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Portia Geach Memorial Award 2002

  • This event finished on 27 October 2002

20 September – 27 October 2002

The Portia Geach Memorial Award is the highly-esteemed portrait prize for women artists was established by Florence Kate Geach in memory of her sister in 1965 and has become synonymous with the developing profiles of women artists. The $18,000 award is available ‘for the best portraits painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters or the Sciences by any female artist resident in Australia…’ .

Of the 310 entries this year, 57 were selected and include works by some of Australia’s leading artists, such as Cherry Hood, Esther Erlich, Wendy Sharpe, Rosemary Valadon, Lucy Culliton, Maryanne Coutts and Mary Moore. Artists and figures from the art world have featured heavily as subjects of portraits, including artists Robert Klippel, Rosemary Madigan, Janet Laurence, John Coburn and art dealers Eva Breuer and Michael Nagy.

The 2002 Portia Geach Award exhibition panel of judges comprised Deborah Edwards Curator of Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Lindy Lee Artist & Andrew Sayers Director, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

This year’s winner was Sydney artist Vicki Varvaressos with her work Self Portrait with Painting. Portraits by Lucy Culliton and Cherry Hood were highly commended by the judges.


Lenny Ann Low – Humilty worth a punt in this lottery – Sydney Morning Herald 20 September 2002

Public Programs

Sunday 22 September – The men in our art Joy Beardmore’s self-portrait is inspired by her late husband, artist Ross Davis; Danelle Bergstrom has painted artist John Coburn; and Kerrie Coles has painted gallery figure Gil Docking.

Sunday 29 September –   Different approaches to portraiture Artists Nerissa Lea, Catherine Cassidy, Judy Pennefather and Lisa Hoelzl will discuss their different approaches to portraiture.

Sunday 6 October – Artists as subjects Archibald winning artist, Cherry Hood has painted artist, Janet Laurence. Vivienne Dadour has painted a self-portrait reminiscent of a past life.

Sunday 13 October –  Meet the winner! Andrew Sayers, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, will speak with the winner of the 2002 Portia Geach Award, Vicki Varvaressos. Also Jo Bertini on her double portrait of Robert Klippel and Rosemary Madigan.

Sunday 20 October – Art world figures Fran Tomlin has painted art dealer, Michael Nagy; Lucy Culliton has painted artist Del Kathryn Barton and Deborah Marks will speak with her sitter, photographer Ella Dreyfus.

Sunday 27 October –  The art schools Marenelle Windsor with her sitter, artist and Dean UNSW College of Fine Arts Ian Howard; Wendy Sharpe with Head of the National Art School and artist Bernard Ollis

image:  Vicki Varvaressos Self-portrait with Painting 

Past Winners of the Portia Geach Memorial Award


2002 – Vicki Varvaressos, Self Portrait with Painting

2001 – Mary Moore, At Home

2000 – Nancy BorlaseThe Sisters: Marie and Vida Breckenridge

1999 – Kim Spooner, Social Currency (Eva Cox)

1998 – Anita Rezevska, Self Portrait – Woman from Riga

1997 – Maria Isabel, Cruz Maria

1996 – Su Baker, Self Portrait at Six Paces

1995 – Wendy SharpeSelf Portrait with Students, After Adelaide Labille-Guiard

1994 – Jenny SagesAnn Thomson

1993 – Aileen Rogers, Suzanne Mourot

1992 – Jenny Sages,Nancy Borlase and Laurie Short

1991 – Rosemary Valadon, Frances Joseph

1990 – Jenny Watson, Self Portrait

1989 – Jenny Sands, Alex Karpin

1988 – Margaret Ackland, Shay Docking

1987 – Christine Hiller, Self Portrait

1986 – Christine Hiller, Self Portrait

1985 – Gwen Eichler, Dianne Fogwell

1984 – Margaret Woodward, Madeleine Halliday

1983 – Margaret Woodward, Self Portrait

1982 – Brenda Humble, Virginia Hall

1981 – Susan Howard, Jenny Kee

1980 – Judy Pennefather, Venie Schulenberg

1979 – Ivy ShoreKondelea (Della) Elliott

1978 – Dora Toovey, Senator Neville Bonner

1977 – Ena Joyce, George Lawrence

1976 – Jocelyn Maughan, George Bouckley

1975 – Mary Brady, Elizabeth Rooney

1974 – Lesley H Pockley, Hugh Paget

1973 – Sylvia Tiarks, Self Portrait

1972 – Elisabeth Cummings, Jean Appleton

1971 – Mary Brady, Larry Sitsky

1970 – Dora Toovey, Self Portrait in Landscape

1969 – Vaike Liibus, Guy Warren

1968 – Bettina McMahon, Self Portrait

1967 – Jo Caddy, Laurence Davis

1966 – Mary Brady, Grahame Edgar

1965 – Jean Appleton, Self Portrait