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Judith Bell was a teacher for 30 years. She was on the Board of Trustees for Brisbane Grammar School for 16 years, and a member of the University of Queensland’s Senate for ten years. She also served for five years as a commissioner for the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission. In 2003, she was one of the University of Queensland’s recipients of the Centenary Medal. She collects art, especially ceramics.
‘I have known Judith for ten years. Last year, we had lunch together and talked about art. I asked if I could paint her portrait for the Archibald and she agreed,’ says Jun Chen.
‘Judith has lots of life experience and is a very intelligent woman, which I have tried to convey. I like using light in my paintings. Here, I have emphasised the effect of light by contrasting the black background and her white hair.’
Born in China in 1960, Chen migrated to Australia in 1990 and is based in Brisbane. He is a five-time Sulman finalist and a three-time Wynne finalist. This is his sixth time as an Archibald finalist. Last year, he was highly commended for his portrait of art dealer Ray Hughes.