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Portia Geach Memorial Prize 2013

  • This event finished on 17 November 2013

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 awarded by The Trust Company as trustee, to the entry with the highest artistic merit.


Queensland-based artist Hélène Grove has been announced as the winner of Australia’s most famed portrait prize for women, the 2013 Portia Geach Memorial Award.  Ms Grove – who established her painting career in the 1990s after a career in medicine – won the $30,000 prize for her self-portrait, entitled Self Portrait: Getting On.

On winning the Award, Ms Grove said: “I’m so humbled and honoured to have been named the recipient of this year’s Portia Geach Memorial Award. The Award plays such a prominent role in promoting the efforts and endeavours of Australian female artists.”

Sydney based artist Danelle Bergstrom has won the Portia Geach Memorial Award People’s Choice with a portrait of dance collaborators and life partners Graeme Murphy AO and Janet Vernon AM.

When informed of the award Bergstrom said that she was humbled on winning the Portia Geach Memorial Award People’s Choice Award. “The three of us – Graeme, Janet and I, would like to thank everyone that voted for us. It is a privilege to win this prestigious award again”, said Bergstrom.



List of Works

Public Programs

Sunday 13th October Artists Celeste Chandler, Matilda Michell & Mirra Whale discusses their self portraits which examines the psychological and physical aspects of their identity.

Sunday 27th October Artist talk with Sally West also Kathrin Longhurst along with sitter model Meluxine.

Sunday 10th November Meet artist Camellia Morris with sitter, actor Roy Billing, along with Valerie Landa and her sitter Paolo Totaro.

Sunday 17th November Meet artist Caroline Thew with her sitter former MP, Maxine McKew.

Past Winners of the Portia Geach Memorial Award: 

2012 – Sally Robinson, The artist’s mother

2011 – Kate Stevens, Indian dream

2010 – Prudence Flint, Scrambled egg

2009 – Christine Hiller, The Old Painter

2008 – Jude Rae, Self Portrait 2008 (The Year My Husband Left)

2007 – Maryanne Coutts, Melbourne

2006 – Lucy Culliton, Self with Friends

2005 – Jude Rae, Large Interior (Micky Allan)

2004 – Nerissa Lea, The Sheik & Me, Self Portrait with Imagined Portrait of Chad Morgan after Frida Kahlo

2003 – Wendy SharpeSelf Portrait with Tea Cup and Burning Paintings

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