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Lucy Culliton regularly paints self-portraits that tie in with the subject she is currently exploring in her art. ‘In 40 years I’ll have a whole string of them and I’ll be able to look back and see what subjects I was painting at what time’, she says.
In the past she has exhibited series of paintings of food, farms, poultry, cacti, horses (she owns and rides them) and the landscape around Hartley in NSW’s Kanimbla Valley, where she has a studio. For the last year she has been painting agricultural shows: ‘I’m a show junkie … I go every weekend. I love it and it’s such a huge subject: animals, flowers, cakes – I could paint them forever.’
This portrait shows Culliton with a selection of dolls, toys and knitting. ‘I wasn’t planning to do a self-portrait but I’d been painting a whole bunch of dolls so I’d been using so much flesh-colour paint and painting so many faces that I was on a roll … It came very quickly and easily. I really enjoyed painting it.’
Born in Sydney in 1966, Culliton won the 2006 Portia Geach Memorial Award with her portrait Self with friends. She also won the 2006 Dubbo Lexus Mortima Prize and the 2000 Mosman Art Prize. She was a finalist in the 2003 Archibald Prize with a self-portrait with rooster and was also represented in the 2001 Sulman Prize. She has had seven solo shows at Ray Hughes Gallery since 1999.