(Australia 21 Jan 1942– )
181.7 x 147.3cm board
In this painting, Sharp appropriated a drawing made by the teenage daughter of his friend and newspaper columnist Ross Campbell—fourteen-year-old Cressida—painting directly over the original image. Campbell may have taken as her subject the newly crowned Miss Universe of 1972, Kerry Anne Wells, Australia’s first winner of the contest. Now an established Sydney printmaker, Cressida Campbell works in the medium of unique, hand-coloured woodcuts.
With its broad expanse of bright, flat colour, and simple, two-dimensional rendering of an icon of American popular culture—the beauty pageant contestant—Sharp acknowledges both the techniques and themes which characterise works of the pop art movement. Devoid of any erotic overtones which might be expected in the portrayal of a beauty queen, 'Miss Australia' shows Sharp at his satirical best, lampooning not only the notion of the artist as the lone creator, but also the very concept of the beauty contest in the age of feminism and sexual freedom.
Natalie Wilson (Australia) (Author), Notes from the river caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp, Sydney, 2006. Website catalogue for the 'Notes from the River Caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp' exhibition held at the AGNSW in 2006.
Coventry Gallery (Australia, estab. 1974, closed 1999) (Author), Martin Sharp (1977), Sydney, 1977. cat.no. 7; titled 'Miss Australia - Painted over original drawing by Cressida Campbell (13) Greenwich 1975'; priced $3,000.
Coventry Gallery (Australia, estab. 1974, closed 1999) (Author), Martin Sharp (1975), Sydney, 1975. cat.no. 95; titled ' titled 'Miss Australia - Painted over original drawing by Cressida Campbell (14) of Greenwich'; priced $3,000.
Martin Sharp (1975), Coventry Gallery, 23 Jul 1975–09 Aug 1975.
Martin Sharp (1977), Coventry Gallery, 21 Jun 1977–09 Jul 1977.
Justin O'Brien and friends: a birthday celebration, S.H. Ervin Gallery, 06 Aug 1987–30 Aug 1987.