Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information

Help us improve our prizes database. Contact us if you have more information.

Robert Hannaford

Robert Hannaford self-portrait
oil on canvas
184 x 122 cm
Further information

Robert Hannaford is a serial Archibald finalist; this is the 26th time he has been represented in the prize. He has won the People’s Choice on three occasions.

Several of his previous Archibald paintings have been self-portraits, including one in 2007 painted while he was recovering from throat cancer in which he depicted himself at the end of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, naked with a feeding tube. In 2015, he painted a kind of companion piece showing the stomach scar where the tube had gone.

It was the light that fascinated him in that 2015 self-portrait – as was also the case here. ‘I painted a self-portrait because I am a patient, reliable model,’ quips Hannaford. ‘I was fascinated with the light graduating into darkness. I also tried to paint the mood in the studio. It took me four months. The last month I painted with my left hand due to a shoulder operation which meant I couldn’t use my right arm.’

Born in 1944, Hannaford lives and works with his wife, artist Alison Mitchell, in a restored farmhouse near Riverton, South Australia. He has been a finalist in the Wynne and Sulman Prizes and won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 1990.

Listen to label text
Watch Auslan video