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Barbara Robertson Self-portrait

oil on board

55 x 39.5 cm

Image courtesy Lorraine McLoughlin and the artist's estate

This Barbara Robertson self-portrait is now in the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art at the University of Western Australia.

Robertson was aged 29 and living and working in Adelaide when she painted the portrait. She had just spent two years of intense study under William Dargie at the National Gallery School in Melbourne. Although never strictly aligned with a certain art group or movement, Robertson adopted particular teachings and approaches to develop her own unique style and practice; one that reflected her training, fascination with people, concern for social justice, and her strong desire to capture the person behind the face.

In the early to mid 1950s, Robertson exhibited regularly with The Adelaide Group and won several awards, but familial and financial obligations took precedence over painting and exhibiting, and she eventually took up teaching.