Portrait Gallery 9 August

Continuing to be inspired by Betty Churcher’s Notebooks I did some drawing at the National Portrait Gallery today. The staff are happy to welcome people drawing in the gallery – their policy is drawing with pencil only.

The two portraits I chose to draw were both photographs. The composition in both was fantastic and having done some drawing I realise that there is planty more to be looked at in both. Hopefully they will still be hanging when I return.


Olive Cotton’s double portratit of herself and her then husband Max Dupain plays on many level. Cotton’s shadow covers the sun-baking Dupain. While Dupain’s torso is obvious it took a while to notice the white sunglasses on his face which is in Cotton’s shadow.


Lewis Morley’s self portrait, includes a second figure who remains un-identified. They are reflected in a mirror (?) lying down an old shaft. On the wall while some of the elements of this image are clear others, including the actual size of the object reflecting Morley remain ambiguous.

Olive Cotton – The Photographer’s Shadow, c. 1935 (printed 1999). Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Purchased 2010

Lewis Morley – Self Portrait in Reflection, 1973. Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Gift of the artist 2003 Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program

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