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Rosemary Valadon Deborah Conway - in epic mode

oil on canvas

122 x 223 cm

Image courtesy the artist

Rosemary Valadon loves Deborah Conway’s raw energy and the fact that she is not afraid to challenge and send up traditional notions of femaleness. Deborah Conway is one of Australia’s most popular singers. Her albums include String of pearls, Bitch epic and Ultrasound. She won the 1992 ARIA for Best Performer and appeared in Peter Greenaway’s movie Prospero’s Books.

'She is very beautiful to look at but she does wonderful things like cut her fringe without looking in the mirror’, says Valadon. 'And even though she is beautiful she is quite prepared to contort her face into ugly gestures: the wide, screaming mouth. I love that.’

Valadon also admires Conway for her determination to say what she wants, for her album titles and the controversial images on some of the album covers. On Epic theatre, for example, Conway is pictured holding up a decapitated male head. Valadon has played with images from the album covers behind the portrait image.