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 Portia Geach Memorial Award is given by Perpetual as trustee, to the entry with the highest artistic merit.
Melbourne artist Natasha Bieniek, with her portrait ‘Sahara’ (pictured), has been announced as the winner of the 2015 Portia Geach Memorial Award, the pre-eminent portraiture prize for women in Australia. As trustee of the Award, Perpetual, presented Ms Bieniek with the $30,000 prize for her self portrait entitled Sahara.
The judges selected two highly commended works, one by Tamara Dean for her portrait of her mother and the other by Jenny Rodgerson for her self portrait.