I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales in 2015. I am towards the end of completing my Master of Teaching (Secondary) with specialisation in Visual Arts, Design and Technology and Textiles and Design from Southern Cross University. Currently I work as a freelance graphic artist. Born in Yugoslavia, my family and I immigrated to Australia just after the end of the war. As a small child the Slavic Monasteries were my first exposure to the world of art. I was mesmerized by the iconographic paintings. Their beauty I find riveting to this day.
Elizabeth Chifley was a woman known for her calm and dignified grace, even in the face of a lifelong illness. Her world was domestic and private. Taking one look at the collection of furniture found in her house, it can be discerned that Mrs Chifley had an appreciation for fineness, beauty and symmetry in one form or another. This is particularly true when looking at the collection of textile goods. The prints and patterns of these textile items would have, most definitely held special meaning to Elizabeth. The fact that very little changed, with regards to furnishing, in the Chifley's house from when they moved in to their eventual passing, goes to show how much significance these items held.
I was strongly inspired by the Axminster carpet found in the Chifley home. This pile rug has a sense of sturdiness to it, but at the same time it is soft, delicate and quite beautiful. In Portrait of a Prime Minister’s Wife I wanted the painting to act as a decorative object . I wanted to use the patterns and abstractions from Elizabeth Chifley’s home environment as a subtle vernacular to portray the fluidity and complexities of identity. I so greatly admire Elizabeth’s dignified strength in the face of tough personal struggles and the pressures of public life. The work is vibrant, decorative and beautiful with an element of fineness and refined softness.
Title of work: Portrait of a Prime Minister’s Wife
Material: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 46 x 61 cm