Del Kathryn Barton (2008) Mother (a portrait of Cate).

2008 Archibald Prize Winner. Barton says of her portrait of actress and Australian arts patron Cate Blanchett:

It was my hope to create a picture that encompassed a varied personalised symbology. After grilling Cate, I included a hydrangea (one of her favourite “nanna” flowers), a few starlings (after an epiphany she had in the presence of a murmuration of starlings), an extraordinary Alexander McQueen gown and, of course, Dash, Roman and Iggy. The waratahs I included to symbolise a sense of place and origin and because I have always thought that they looked like crazy little UFOs hovering in the bush, pertaining to Cate’s ethereal and otherworldly beauty.

I have configured the boys (in relation to Cate) in an attempt to describe both the depth of their coexistence and individual wholeness. Filaments of ribbons gently weave the figures together within some kind of resonance. There is the utterly profound synergy and interconnection that a mother and her children have on one level; and on another, four autonomous energies and lives.

Art Gallery of NSW. Via zeezeescorner.

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