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Dagmar's portrait of Abdul Abdullah & Amrita Hepi is selected as one of only 25 finalists in the National Portrait Gallery's 'Darling Portrait Prize'

Artist statement:

I wanted to paint Abdul Abdullah as I admire his work and felt him to be a warm soul. I had met him years ago when we were both in the Lester Portrait prize. When I phoned him, he said he was meeting his soon to be wife Amrita Hepi, (award winning choreographer and dance artist) in Melbourne where I am based. At the time Amrita was working from Melbourne and Abdul was based in Sydney. Given I love relationship narratives, I happily invited Amrita to join us. We hit it off, they were delightful! We played with different scenarios, they are both incredibly creative, dynamic, reflective, and engaging. They were very comfortable together and with themselves. I wanted to capture that energy and spontaneity and the freshness of spirit which I saw, and for the painting to reflect the colourful life they would have and are having together. I was looking at artists like Richard Diebenkorn. I used charcoal to draw and acrylic marker to move around the composition. Leaving the pentimenti to show through as the composition took on shape. Abdul and Amrita were delightful and it was a pleasure having them here at my studio.


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