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

Highly commended

Jude Rae Inside out

oil on linen

198 x 152.5 cm

Last year, Jude Rae was invited to participate in the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ online Together In Art project, developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was asked to create and share an image that considered the view from her window. The construction site across the road from her studio, which dominated her response, is now 18 floors of affordable housing, featured in this self-portrait.

‘The title Inside out seemed the best description of the strange inversions of the last year,’ says Rae. ‘Is this a standard selfie? An iPhone photo of me reflected in the windowpane, inside, looking out at my neighbours’ lights? Or am I taking a photo of you looking at me, living life “on screen” as we do so often these days?

‘Though the lockdowns and social distancing have been relatively mild in Sydney, we have all been forced to reflect on the social and personal costs of isolation. It seemed to me that the self-portrait is the most compelling expression of this inwardness, but also a reminder that, while we might feel singular, we are not separate. We think of ourselves alone at our peril.’

Rae is also a finalist in this year’s Sulman Prize.

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