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”.