Finalist - Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award

Bega Valley Regional Gallery - 27 October to 8 December 2018

à présent - Justine Ndayi (2017)

198x183cm, Oil on Linen

So happy to be a finalist in the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award with portrait of family friend Justine Ndayi, initially inspired being present to see her receive her University degree at UWS last year, more generally celebrating her achievements in Australia (including as mother and wife) and celebrating her vivid and formidable style - inwardly, marking the power of her particular story and journey as a refugee from the Congo.

Kind of a precursor to (but not part of) a large upcoming portrait-based project in collaboration with husband Isaac Kisimba. More expressive and playful, it will explore with friends the Congolese dress culture of Sapologie in Australia in terms of diversity, including Congolese and Non-Congolese and across generations. A more serious element being the exploration of a ‘third space’, diversity expressed and engaged without expectations of assimilation or separation, directly inspired by the work of Reni Eddo-Lodge and her 2017 book “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race”.

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Kedumba Connections - Orange Regional Gallery

In 2009-10 I was so fortunate to spend some time with Gundungurra elders Aunty Mary King and Uncle Merv Cooper (both now passed). For me theirs is the great story of the Blue Mountains, hearing their old stories and yarns of the Gully in Katoomba, and the even older ones from the surrounding valleys.  If I was to see faces in our incredible escarpments up here it would be these.

I guess these are also about what is glorious in an elder person, how the fruition of an entire life and the explanation/teaching of it can be written in the face and the body, without even saying anything. I will be showing these for the first time as part of Kedumba Connections, a satellite show of Kedumba trustees works held in conjunction with the 2018 Kedumba Drawing Award, opens 20 October to 2 December, Orange Regional Gallery.  Big thank yous to Uncle David King, Aunty Merle Williams and Aunty Sharyn Halls.

 Aunty Mary King (study, 2010) - 127x91cm, Conte on brown paper

Aunty Mary King (study, 2010) - 127x91cm, Conte on brown paper

 Uncle Merv Cooper (study, 2009) - 107x81cm, Conte on brown paper

Uncle Merv Cooper (study, 2009) - 107x81cm, Conte on brown paper

Catherine Livingstone AO - 20/20 National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Over two nights, celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions

Thursday 18 October - Unveiling and Dinner

So fortunate to meet and work with this incredible woman, Catherine Livingstone AO. Us tonight at the unveiling of hers and 19 other new portrait commissions, 20/20 celebrating 20 years of the National Portrait Gallery Canberra. Very important to mention that this was supported by an extremely generous group of philanthropists, in my case dear Tim Fairfax AC pictured here. Though the highlight of the night for me was sitting right in front of the most sublime performance by Jessica Mauboy.

 With Catherine Livingstone AO

With Catherine Livingstone AO

 Catherine Livingstone AO and Tim Fairfax AC who provided the funds for the commission

Catherine Livingstone AO and Tim Fairfax AC who provided the funds for the commission

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Friday 19 October - Public Opening Night

Photo with divine artist Jessica Mauboy, and divine National Portrait Gallery Chairman Dr Helen Nugent AO, official opening for 20/20 portraits. A huge thank you to everyone at the NPG for organising this complex and exquisitely presented show.

 With Jessica Mauboy, 20/20 subject and performer on the night

With Jessica Mauboy, 20/20 subject and performer on the night

 With Dr Helen Nugent AO, National Portrait Gallery Chairman

With Dr Helen Nugent AO, National Portrait Gallery Chairman

Archibald Prize 2018 Opening Night

Photos from the artists preview with special guests in the Archibald gallery, before the exhibition was later opened upstairs by Gladys Berejiklian, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

 With the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian

With the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian

 With Carla Zampatti

With Carla Zampatti

 With Roslyn Oxley

With Roslyn Oxley

 With fellow finalist Del Kathryn Barton and Chris Plater

With fellow finalist Del Kathryn Barton and Chris Plater

 With Faith Agugu

With Faith Agugu

 With Archibald Prize Winner Yvette Coppersmith

With Archibald Prize Winner Yvette Coppersmith

 Gladys Berejiklian opening the exhibition, with AGNSW Director Michael Brand

Gladys Berejiklian opening the exhibition, with AGNSW Director Michael Brand

Gladys Berejiklian - Archibald Prize 2018

Art Gallery of New South Wales

12 May - 9 September 2018

183x122cm, Oil on Linen

From the Art Gallery of New South Wales notes:

Mathew Lynn’s portrait of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian represents his 15th time as an Archibald finalist. He was highly commended and won the People’s Choice award in 1997, and he won the Packing Room Prize in 2013.

‘I didn’t have any particular thing I wanted to say about Gladys, in fact I was after the opposite. If anything, I wanted to suggest the unknowable and enigmatic, to convey that sense that we are unable to work out exactly what she is thinking. It was perhaps more about working intuitively and succinctly with each other, reflecting her day-to-day existence,’ says Lynn, who lives and works between Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

‘I wanted to create a kind of person/body space that is open-ended and capable of holding each viewer’s own thoughts, sensations or personal knowledge of Gladys,’ he adds.

In terms of composition, Lynn says he felt ‘compelled to create a sense that while she seems located in a certain space, she is simultaneously rising out of that into a kind of universal space. This is probably why I left the background more like an indication, something ephemeral, whilst making her more distinct. As it turned out, this is a very natural and attentive working pose for her, which combines contemplation and action.’

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Sketches on the Absence of Mortality or Immortality (portrait of Tony Bond, 2018)

Anthony (Tony) Bond OAM
213x137cm, Oil on Linen
A multi-media portrait (painting and video) of eminent curator and writer Tony Bond
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre 3 February - 18 March, 2018

A work exploring one of Tony Bond’s key curatorial themes, and a place where he and I intersect - the active participant/embodied experience and meditation/meditative states.  Moving away from the notion of artist and artwork as objective, detached, universal phenomena, Bond has always sought to highlight an art that explores and understands the active role played by an involved 'experiencer', not so much by a detached 'viewer', an art that also relies less narrowly on 'representation' alone. 

Here also, the lines become blurred as to what the actual nature of the 'artist' is.  So much so that this 'experiencer' is actually, in equal regard, the artist - through their unique operation of a work and what they bring to it, and ultimately representative of the only true way we experience phenomena, from nowhere else but our own mind.  It is for this reason that this work avoids a single viewpoint, combining a reference to the grand portraiture of the past (frozen in time), with traces of actual experience referenced within the video, but no more 'real' than the painting. 

It is Lynn's contention that when we cross this threshold into experience, we naturally and unavoidably forego the entire apparatus of the objective and the universal, and therefore neither Mortality nor Immortality has any foundation whatsoever.  This work also attempts to avoid the completion, neatness and finality of a finished work concerned primarily with 'representation'. It combines two 'sketches' of differing viewpoints, neither one being more truthful than the other, with the intention of opening up the possibility (for the viewer/experiencer) of this constant and unfolding state of flux.

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Franchesca Cubillo - Archibald Salon des Refusés 2017

Franchesca Cubillo

198x137cm, Oil on Linen

S H Ervin Gallery, Sydney     29 July - 15 October, 2017

From John McDonald’s review of the 2017 Salon des Refusés...

There are few more capable portraitists in Australia than Mathew Lynn, who seems to be bounced in and out of the Archibald depending on what quota of relatively traditional painters they are allowing. This year, Paul Newton, Robert and Tsering Hannaford made the cut, and Lynn missed out, but his portrait of curator, Franchesca Cubillo, is one of the most striking pictures in this year’s Refusés. It may seem as if Lynn has never gotten over Velázquez, but what’s wrong with that?

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