Jessica Ashton’s subject is Japanese-born Akira Isogawa, one of Australia’s most celebrated fashion designers.
‘I have always admired the designs of Akira Isogawa. I studied fashion design in the 1990s. At the time, Akira was a new and exciting rising star of fashion. I admired the way his work was so unique and delicate. His pieces were everything I thought fashion should be – precious and exotic,’ says Jessica Ashton.
‘A friend introduced me to Akira and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to paint his portrait. The painting is set in his warehouse. The light was perfect. The large skylights added a lovely blue reflected light into the shadows.’
Born in Sydney in 1976, Ashton studied fine art at the Julian Ashton Art School, where she taught for ten years. She currently teaches illustration at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) 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 second time in the Archibald Prize.