Finalist in the Portia Geach Memorial Portrait Prize with a self portrait, The Scratching Post 2019, 40x20cm, oil on board. In The Scratching Post, I have painted myself as an ornament on a small pedestal, beside a cat on a scratching post. It is part of a series of ornament-portraits, where the subject is transformed into a shelf ornament and frozen in a mundane pose in an ambiguous space. While the painting aims to portray a likeness of myself, the blank expression, pink dressing gown and oversized slippers render an anonymity to the figure, while also hinting at humdrum domestic routines that take place quietly in private.
The Scratching Post is both a still life and a portrait. It is small to reflect the lack of grandeur of such objects, and the nostalgic 1950s colour palette hints at Australian cultural norms and kitsch associated with a bygone era. The impasto brushwork adds texture not usually associated with an ornament, reminding the viewer it is a painting.