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Warren Breninger is a visual artist and a poet. He has been exhibiting since 1971 and his poetry has been published in various journals since 1977. His artwork covers mixed media, painting, photography and drawing.
In an artist’s statement, Breninger has this to say of his self-portrait: 'Though all of my work is uncompromisingly figurative, endless in its serial variations and deeply wrapped in the personal, it would be true to say that my self-portraits are even more serious, more relentlessly religious and unremittingly exposed.’
You recline on the very edge of sleep
or like a morsel on the crest of the lips
you hold on waiting to be consumed.
You hang as a willow of fireworks or the golden fleece
While the innermost organs settle like sunken ships.
At the first and last sound from the inner dark
Driven or dribbling from the heart’s pulsating mouth
Unguarded by health or thought police
You are crushed across the back like a mouse
You lift in unrecorded moments of pleasure
And taste the sublime fruits of the resurrection
You are overcome with the light and the power
Of that unnatural stillness, that makes no reply or remark.
- Being still, January 2000
Born in Melbourne in 1948, Breninger has won various prizes including the James Farrell Self Portrait Award in 2001, Blake Prize in 1989, Alice Prize in 1989, Dominique Segan Drawing Award in 1988 and Lady Fairfax Portrait Award at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1982. He was a finalist in the 1998 Archibald Prize with another self-portrait.