Dagmar's portrait of artist Wendy Sharpe is a finalist in the Newcastle Gallery's 'Kilgour figuration prize'. Her portrait of Australian fashion designer, Kym Ellery is a finalist at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery's 'Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award'. The paintings and associated artist statements are below.
I've always found Wendy's work to be energetic, raw, and a direct representation of herself. She is an extraordinary role model for the Australian woman - feminine & strong. It was a privilege to have had the time with Wendy in order to capture her in one of my paintings.
Kym Ellery (Elegance II)
Kym Ellery grew up in Karratha, WA. Part Maori and English she was inspired by her artistic mother to move to Sydney. With nothing but ambition and courage, she conceived ELLERY the fashion label that has taken her to the Runway of Paris. Now living in Paris, her work is sought after by artists such as Rihanna and Cate Blanchett.
The first time we met Kym was jet-lagged but still showed enthusiasm for the sitting. She wore no makeup and looked magnificent. We spent two hours together - it was like speed dating as I got to know her. What most attracted me to Kym was her ability to show strength and courage in the male dominated and ultra-competitive world of fashion design, whilst still retaining her femininity and grace. Her strength and courage come from her grounded upbringing in remote WA, so I placed the figure against an ochre backdrop. Kym chose her oversized and comfortable men’s style shirt and shoes which did little to hide her confidence, strength and femininity.
Kym is an inspiration for all women. As she says, “Woman today have so many expectations placed on them, I want to empower woman”.