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Hazel Butterworth is a professional artist’s model. She has been Lewis Miller’s model for eight years and is the subject of countless Lewis Miller nudes and portraits in oil, drawings and prints. ‘When you get a good model you want to hold onto them,” says Miller. “Hazel has become a good friend and so this is a Lewis Miller tribute to her.”
Every time they take a break during sittings, Hazel puts on her dressing gown and has a cup of tea. “That’s what she does so that’s why I’ve painted her like that,” says Miller. “It’s very natural.” He has also painted a nude version exactly the same – a reference to Goya’s The Naked Maja and its companion piece The Clothed Maja, painted around 1800. Miller’s nude of Hazel is part of an exhibition in April at the Australian Galleries in Melbourne.
Born in Melbourne in 1959, Miller studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, later undertaking post-graduate studies there. In 1984 he travelled to London and Europe before returning to Melbourne where he lives aand works. He has had regular solo exhibitions since 1986 and been represented in numerous group shows. He is also represented in a large number of major national and international collections. He won the 1981 Hugh Ramsay Portrait Prize and the Art Gallery of NSW’s 2000 Sporting Portrait Prize with a portrait of football legend Ron Barassi. Miller has been hung in ten previous Archibalds and won the Archibald Prize in 1998 with a portrait of Allan Mitelman.