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Jessica Ashton painted this self-portrait after discovering that she was pregnant with her second child.
‘It was painted with mixed emotions, which I hoped to somehow capture,’ she says. ‘I wear my daughter’s tutu around my neck and feel like a clown. I am amused at myself and the chaos of life, juggling an artistic career, motherhood, teaching and everything else in between. There are so many parts to play, so many different costumes one must wear, but I love the path I have chosen.’
Born in Sydney in 1976, Ashton studied fine art at the Julian Ashton Art School, where she now teaches drawing and painting. She also teaches illustration at the University of Technology Sydney and human anatomy at Production Art Department. She has been a finalist in many art prizes including the Mosman Art Prize and the AME Bale Travelling Scholarship. This is her first time in the Archibald Prize.