We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Highly commended

Pat Hoffie Visaya in a c-collar

oil on canvas

51 x 40.5 cm

Pat Hoffie’s subject is her daughter Visaya Hoffie, who was critically injured in January 2020 and spent months in a New York hospital, where she caught COVID-19.

‘I chose to paint her for several reasons, not least because of her deep resilience and stoic forbearance. I hope these qualities come through in this portrait, where she sits hunched and brooding, scarred and fighting against pain as she summons inner strength to overcome the well-nigh impossible odds thrown at her,’ says Brisbane-based Hoffie.

‘Visaya is a young artist. She was in New York looking for opportunities to further her career when a sequence of almost unimaginable events ripped her world apart. But she faced the odds, one after the other, with an indefatigable optimism. Her lust for life and her passion for art-making remain undiminished.

‘During 2020, we were all locked together in the eye of the global pandemic. But we were privileged to witness the very best of many people. As a mother who is also an artist, I get the biggest privilege of all – to continue to watch and learn from my remarkable daughter.’

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