Portia Geach Memorial Award finalists revealed Perpetual announces 2020 shortlist for Australia’s most recognised portrait prize for women A list of 61 works by 59 artists has been announced today for the country’s most distinguished portrait prize for female artists, the Portia Geach Memorial Award. The $30,000 annual prize is administered by the Award Trustee, Perpetual. Established in 1961 by Florence Kate Geach, in memory of her sister, artist Portia Geach, the Portia Geach Memorial Award recognises an Australian female artist for the best portrait painted from life of a man or woman distinguished in art, letters or the sciences. Born in 1873 in Melbourne, Portia Geach studied with John Singer Sargent and Lawrence Alma-Tadema in London and was also a lifelong activist for women’s rights. She established the Housewives Progressive Association of New South Wales, The Housewives Magazine in 1933 and the Progressive Journal two years later to promote issues such as equal pay for women and the right to hold public office. The judging panel for this year’s award comprised Ms Anita Belgiorno-Nettis, Trustee of Art Gallery of New South Wales, Ms Natalie Wilson, Curator of Australian and Pacific Art at The Art Gallery of New South Wales and Ms Jane Watters, Director S.H Ervin Gallery. Some of the well-known sitters for this year’s award include radio presenter Phillip Adams; actor Claudia Karvin; author and playwright Louis Nowra; indigenous dancers Ella Havelka and Tayvonne Cora; TV presenter Richard Morecroft; dancer Anthea Pilko; the late Jack Mundey; businessman Luca Belgiorno-Nettis; Francophile Professor Ross Steele AM and concert pianist Simon Tedeschi.
LORNA GREAR Lockdown in the bath, gouache on art board (self portrait)
The winner of the 2020 Portia Geach Memorial Award will be revealed on Thursday 13 August with an exhibition of all finalists open for viewing by the public from 14 August – 20 September at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks. For more information on the award, visit http://www.shervingallery.com.au Media Enquiries: Jane Watters 02 9258 0133 / 0414 717 044