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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Self portrait



Pam Hallandal


16 Jan 1929 - 26 Sep 2018


Hallandal’s first self-portraits were made in the early 1980s ‘ … in order to try to talk to this poor girl who was drawing away in a corner, struggling badly with a self portrait’ (Elizabeth Cross, ‘Pam Hallandal’, The Art Bulletin of Tasmania,
1984, p 52). Since then, they have occupied a central place in her work. Hallandal’s experience as a teacher of drawing at Prahran Senior Technical College led her to devote herself exclusively to drawing rather than sculpture.

'I found it hard to teach drawing seriously and make sculpture. Some people argue that it is better to teach outside your own area, but in order to be good enough to teach drawing well, you have to spend a lot of time and energy and be able to hold the concepts sufficiently tautly' (Elizabeth Cross, 1984, p 51).

Hallandal’s mother was also an important subject, but after her death, Hallandal turned increasingly to herself as a subject.

'My mother had died – now I found a new head, one that was always with me. This head set up a new situation – no empathy – just a subject for ruthless objectivity – no vanity. Old polios like me are stripped of physical vanity – the inner reality of course remains' (Elizabeth Cross, Pam Hallandal drawings, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria, 1998, p 8).

Another self-portrait is held in the Gallery’s collection (see Henrik Kolenberg, Australian drawings from the Gallery’s collection, AGNSW, Sydney, 1997, p 130).

This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 1996 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1996.


Place where the work was made

Melbourne Victoria Australia



Media category


Materials used

charcoal, pastel on white wove paper


100.0 x 74.0 cm sheet; 123.0 x 79.5 x 3.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.l. corner, charcoal "Hallandal". Not dated.


Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 1996


Not on display

Accession number


Dobell Prize for Drawing

Winner - 1996

Artist information

Pam Hallandal

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 10 publications


Jonathan Cooper (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales Bulletin, 'Dobell Prize for Drawing', pg. 13, Sydney, Feb 1997-Apr 1997, 13 (colour illus.).

Elizabeth Fortescue, Daily Telegraph, ‘Drawn to human traffic’, pg. 26, Sydney, 05 Apr 1996, 26 (illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, The Dobell Prize for Drawing: 1993-2004, ‘Introduction: the first ten years’, pg. 8-9, Sydney, 2004, 8, 9, 22, 23 (colour illlus.), 50, 52.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Drawing a winner: a decade of Dobell prizes shows us how and why', pg. 24-27, Sydney, Aug 2003, 26 (colour illus.). NOTE: this has been reproduced in reverse

Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, ‘Introduction’, pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 7, 26, 27 (colour illus.), 60.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'A fine harvest of drawings: legacy of an exceptional draughtsman', pg. 28-31, Sydney, Nov 2011, 29.

John MacDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Archibald and the sex goddess: the art prize that surprises’, pg. 7, Sydney, 09 Mar 1996, 7 (illus., detail).

Janet McKenzie, Contemporary Australian drawing #1, 'Pam Hallandal', pg. 90-91, South Yarra, 2012, 90.

Joanna Mendelssohn, The Weekend Australian, ‘Archibald judges get the right one this time’, pg. 2, Canberra, 09 Mar 1996-10 Mar 1996, 2 (illus.).

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Pam Hallandal: drawing from life', pg. 26-29, Sydney, Oct 2010, 26 (colour illus.).