Chelsea Lehmann finalist in Portia Geach Memorial Award

Arthouse Gallery would like to congratulate Chelsea Lehmann on her selection as a national finalist in the Portia Geach Memorial Award for her portrait of artist Deborah Paauwe, titled ‘Threshold’.

The exhibition of national finalists will be held at the National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery,
4 October to 16 November 2013.


Says the artist, “In this portrait of artist Deborah Paauwe I have grafted figural and compositional elements from pre-existing paintings onto an image of the artist through the process of painting.

The portrait is therefore hybridized; a transhistorical incarnation in the sense that it comprises of both contemporary and art historical sources. Its ‘temporal homelessness’ means the portrait is fixed only by it’s time of painting. The figure’s subtle incongruity with the surrounding landscape underlines the disjuncture of past and present images: they are not quite seamless, even if they are co-dependent. The ‘homelessness’ of the portrait reflects my aesthetic and conceptual questioning of the genealogy, inheritance and relevance of portrait painting today.

The intimacy of the imaging process between subject and artist derives from a relationship of sorts; reliant, in part, on physical proximity and (often) mutual affinities. It posits a slow release communion between people that belies the cultural imperative of rapidity.

The time, materiality and technical investment inherent in this painting constitute a ‘space’ and quality both rich and fraught with historical association.”


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