The Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery is hosting a series of talks about portraiture to accompany its current exhibition of 2014 Archibald Prize finalists. The conversations will be moderated by Dr Vivien Gaston, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria.
All talks will be held at the MPRG – see below for dates and times of individual events. The cost of each event is $45 (members) $50 (general), this includes drinks and nibbles 6pm–6.30pm, conversation 6.30pm–7.30pm, Archibald Prize 2014 viewing 7.30pm–8.30pm.
Body Talk | Angus Trumble, Peter Daverington and Jason Benjamin, moderated by Dr Vivien Gaston
Saturday 4 October, 6pm–8.30pm
What does the body tell us about a person? How does an artist capture the distinctive traits of their subject? Join Angus Trumble, the new director of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, as he gives his views on what makes a great portrait. Angus will be in conversation with two of Australia’s most accomplished artists, Jason Benjamin and Peter Daverington, and will explore how their latest portraits invent powerful mythic and psychological interpretations of the human face and body.
Celebrity Portraits | Phillip Barnes, James Powditch and Martin Tighe, moderated by Dr Vivien Gaston
Saturday 11 October, 6pm–8.30pm
What makes a great celebrity portrait? Is it an icon of beauty or wisdom or a glamorous illusion shaped by the media? Listen to an enthralling, hands-on discussion between three successful portrait painters about how they approach their famous Archibald Prize subjects: cyclist Anna Meares, rock musician Nick Cave and radio presenter/musician Emma Ayres. Artists Phillip Barnes, James Powditch and Martin Tighe will share their insights into depicting famous sitters and dealing with fantasy and reality in the art world.
Shock Tactics | Sophia Hewson, Juan Ford and Rodney Pople, moderated by Dr Vivien Gaston
Saturday 18 October, 6pm – 8.30pm
Power, sex, environment, race: how can portraits tackle the major issues?Join three important and innovative artists as they discuss the use of shock tactics in portrait painting. Juan Ford and Sophia Hewson produce confronting and subversive self-portraits. Through seductive visual techniques they make provocative comment on contemporary perceptions and behaviour. Rodney Pople has also long courted controversy and finds an appropriate subject in his dashing depiction of Barry Humphries. Follow the debate as these exciting artists show how portraits make powerful statements about the role of humans in today’s world.
Artist and Sitter: The Winning Portrait | Fiona Lowry and Penelope Seidler, moderated by Dr Vivien Gaston
Saturday 25 October, 6pm – 8.30pm
Be part of a conversation between the winner of the Archibald Prize, Fiona Lowry, and her luminous portrait subject, architect Penelope Seidler. How was the portrait created and what were the influences on Seidler’s pose, mood and setting? As two visual arts professionals, how did their relationship evolve and how did it affect the making of the portrait? Did Lowry aim to respond to the reality of her subject or did she instead invent a new persona? This in-depth discussion will reflect on the artistic interaction between artist and sitter and ask whether special empathy, intimacy and imagination is required to produce a great portrait.