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Professor Katherine Samaras has been Sinead Davies’ endocrinologist for some years, helping the artist manage a serious health issue.
‘Her composure, professionalism and humanity instantly impressed me,’ says Davies. ‘The sitting was done in her office, where she mostly consults, and where she has surrounded herself with objects that she loves, including an Asian folding screen featuring white flowers and a small bird. In feng shui, birds signify the arrival of good news and opportunities, and flowers indicate a love of nature.’
‘Katherine’s physiognomy is interesting and timeless. If we look closely at ancient European statues and paintings, we would see versions of Katherine. I am fascinated by heritage and physiognomy in that we can often tell where someone is from, just by looking at them.’
‘In Katherine’s portrait, I have strived to convey a sense of intimacy. Hence, I chose to portray her in a moment of thoughtfulness, capturing one fleeting moment during our sitting session.’
Born in Ireland, Davies moved to Australia in 1983. She was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize and the 2010 and 2017 Salon des Refusés. She has been in the Portia Geach Memorial Award six times, and is a three-time finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.