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Winner: Archibald Prize 1996

Wendy Sharpe Self-portrait as Diana of Erskineville

oil on canvas

210 x 172 cm

Wendy Sharpe has previously entered other self-portraits in the Archibald Prize. ‘I am not a portrait painter,’ she says, ‘but my work often has an autobiographical element and references to mythology. I paint about myself and me as an artist.’ In this work, she assumes the guise of the Roman goddess Diana, her hunting bow replaced by paintbrushes.

Born in Sydney in 1960, Sharpe studied at the City Art Institute (now UNSW Art & Design) and the University of Sydney, and received the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and the Dyason Bequest (including a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris) in 1986. That same year, she won the Sulman Prize for genre or subject painting. In 1999, she was appointed an official war artist – the first woman since World War II – assigned with troops in East Timor. She teaches part time at East Sydney TAFE and the University of Sydney.