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Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2023

  • This event finished on 17 December 2023

3 November – 17 December

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. Geach was widely acclaimed as a leading artist and was a frequent commentator in the national media – making her an iconic figure in the Australian arts community. The $30,000 non-acquisitive Portia Geach Memorial Award is given by Perpetual as trustee, to the entry with the highest artistic merit.

The winner of the 2023 Portia Geach Memorial Award is Kate Stevens for her painting The Whistleblower, a portrait of David McBride.


Standouts from the Portia Geach Memorial Award by John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald 23 November 2023

Afghan Files’ whistleblower portrait wins $30,000 prize by Helen Pitt, The Sydney Morning Herald 3 November 2023


Sunday 26 November at 3pm

Join exhibiting artists Ashlee Bucholtz, Gina Bruce and Tania Wursig for a discussion on contemporary portraiture.

Sunday 3 December at 3pm

Join exhibiting artists Lucia Mig, Leanne Xiu Williams and 2023 Portia Geach Memorial Award winner Kate Stevens as they share their approaches to portraiture.

Sunday 17 December at 3pm

On the final day of the exhibition join Margaret Ackland, Rosy Lloyd and Alison Mackay as they discuss their works in the exhibition.

2023 Finalists

MARGARET ACKLAND Balance (self portrait) watercolour on paper 130 x 130 cm

JILL ANSELL Making Mikaela (Mikaela Castledine, artist) oil on board and found object assemblage 44 x 12 x 10 cm

REBECCA ARMSTRONG Rose Chong and one of her mannequins (Rose Chong, costumier) oil on canvas 60 x 80 cm

JOANNA BRAITHWAITE Twists and Turns-portrait of Ildiko Kovacs (Ildiko Kovacs, artist painter) oil on canvas 198 x 168 cm

GINA BRUCE Ann Thomson painting (Ann Thomson, artist) watercolour on cotton paper 76 x 56 cm

ASHLEE BUCHOLTZ “The Bench” (self portrait) acrylic on canvas 101 x 84 cm

AH TOO CHEW Graeme Gould (Graeme Gould, artist and artist model) oil on canvas 55 x 40 cm

YVETTE COPPERSMITH Self portrait with camelia brooch oil on jute 102.5 x 87 cm

SARAH CURTIS Sara as Gwen John (Sara Daly, contemporary artist and academic) oil on wood panel 122 x 81 cm

SINEAD DAVIES Tsering with Palette (Tsering Hannaford, fine artist) oil on canvas 127.5 x 101.5 cm

JANINE DELLO Divorce Cake (self portrait) oil on canvas 50 x 60 cm

SALLY DUNNE Jennifer Lamb, the woman who flew (Jennifer Lamb, first Director of the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery) acrylic on canvas 54 x 43.5 cm

YVONNE EAST The Drawing Studio (self portrait) oil on Belgian linen 132 x 112 cm

MARINA FINLAY Peggy Carter – Make-up Artist (Peggy Carter, make-up artist) oil on canvas 100.5 x 80.5 cm

STEPHANIE GALLOWAY BROWN The Paper Crane (Midori Furze, multidisciplinary artist) oil on canvas 101.6 x 76.3 cm

JANE GUTHLEBEN Leila and the Baby King (Leila Jefferys, photographic artist) oil on marine ply 40.2 x 22.6 cm

SOPHIE HANN Self Portrait with Cockatoos oil on canvas 42 x 32 cm

TSERING HANNAFORD Tikkun Olam (Laurence Marshbaum OAM, social impact asset management firm founder) oil on board 50 x 45 cm

JACQUELINE HENNESSY Untitled (this garden of light) (self portrait) oil on linen 102 x 102 cm

MICHELLE HISCOCK The Listener (Christopher Lawrence, broadcaster, musician and conductor) oil on paper 29.5 x 25 cm

JANNE KEARNEY The Art of Drag – Art Simone painting themselves (Art Simone, drag queen performer) oil on linen 200 x 130 cm

SUZANNE LAWSON Wonderland (Bridget Flint, artist) oil on canvas 70 x 60 cm

KIM LEUTWYLER Holt (Jess Holt, music artist) oil on canvas 72 x 61 cm

ROSY LLYOD Yandell In The Forest (Yandell Walton, artist) enamel and acrylic 122 x 90 cm

KATHRIN LONGHURST Icon-ic (Bianca Spender, fashion designer) oil on linen 91 x 273 cm

ALISON MACKAY Single Use Only (Richard Morecroft) (Richard Morecroft, broadcaster and artist) oil on 24 paper plates on stretched paisley fabric 120 x 150 cm

INDIA MARK Self portrait in blue oil on arches oil paper 31 x 23 cm

CLAIRE MARTIN The grandmother hypothesis (self portrait) oil on linen 1540 x 910 cm

LUCiA MiG Bedda (Antonia Perricone Mrljak, artist) oil on linen 122 x 91.5 cm

HEATHER MILLER Self portrait, blue eyeshadow oil on board 41 x 31 cm

FRANKIE MORGAN Discussing ‘To the Lighthouse’ with Dianne Yarwood (Dianne Yarwood, author) acrylic on canvas 91 x 70 cm

ELIZABETH NELSON Mark (Mark Dober, artist) oil on canvas 81 x 66 cm

SUSAN O’DOHERTY Mai and Maggie (Mai Nguyễn-Long, artist) acrylic on canvas 182 x 122 cm

SASSY PARK Shirley (Shirley Barrett, writer/director) clay tablet 34 x 35 cm

LORI PENSINI Melaleuca Lucinda (Lucinda Giblett, writer & co founder Stella Violets) oil on melaleuca paperbark on linen 38 x 31 cm

ALICE PULVERS ‘Lucy’ (Lucy Pulvers, artist) framed oil on linen 83 x 63 cm

RACHAEL ROBB Self Portrait with Bird oil on wood panel 30 x 40 cm

JENNY RODGERSON Self portrait with mudras oil on linen 165 x 107 cm

JENNIFER ROSNELL Gus Worland – Founder of Gotcha4life (Gus Worland, television/radio personality and founder of Gotcha4life) oil on board 125 x 63 cm

SALLY RYAN Self Portrait in Red Skirt oil on linen 150 x 91 cm

LYNN SAVERY Tim Draxl (Tim Draxl, actor) oil on canvas 92 x 86 cm

ONDINE SEABROOK Holly at the Pub (Holly Greenwood, painter) oil on board 35 x 25 cm

KIRTHANA SELVARAJ The Performer (Vidya Rajan, screenwriter, comedian, playwright) oil on canvas 40 x 40 cm

KIM SHANNON Not Done Yet (self portrait) oil on canvas 40 x 30 cm

KATE STEVENS The Whistleblower (David McBride, military lawyer/whistleblower) oil on canvas 100 x 75 cm each panel

LIZ STUTE Running late for A.I. (self portrait) oil on canvas 101 x 76 cm

TRISH TAIT Put the needle on the record (Hugh Tait, musician) oil 30 x 30 cm

JILL TALBOT Double denim selfie (Anna Barker, women’s health science LGBTQ+ communities) oil and acrylic on birch ply 122 x 52 cm

CAROLINE THEW Australian Ethic (Annabelle Warren and Alex Midgley, doctor and librarian) oil on linen 81 x 81 cm

SEABASTION TOAST How the light gets in (Karlee Rawkins, artist) oil on canvas 180 x 120 cm

MEZ TRUSKETT Fearless In My Studio (Grant Page, actor and stuntman) acrylic 121 x 91 cm

DEBORAH WALKER Longhand (Judith Lucy) (Judith Lucy, writer/performer) oil on linen 90 x 120 cm

ANNA WESTON The Kind Scientist (Dr Melinda Laidlaw, rainforest and climate change ecologist) oil on canvas 90.5 x 70.5 cm

LEANNE XIU WILLIAMS Evi and Henri (Evi O, artist and designer) oil on linen 81.3 x 60.1 cm

TANIA WURSIG Anouk and Kurulbrang – A maternal tribute (Anouk Wursig, student/artist) acrylic on cotton canvas 152 x 91 cm

MICHELLE ZUCCOLO The tirade (self portrait) oil on Italian canvas 70 x 80 cm

CAROLINE ZILINSKY The Mondrian Plane (Jane Maree Adams, retired children’s rights lawyer) oil on linen 97 x 97 cm


Award Trustee

image: KATE STEVENS The Whistleblower (portrait of David McBride) oil on canvas, winner 2023 Portia Geach Memorial Award