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Robert Hannaford Hirsute self-portrait

oil on canvas

121.3 x 91.5 cm

Robert Hannaford has been an Archibald finalist on 26 previous occasions, winning the People’s Choice three times. Eight of those paintings have been self-portraits, including one in 2007 when he was receiving treatment for throat cancer. His daughter Tsering is also a finalist in this year’s Archibald.

‘Painting a self-portrait gives me the opportunity to work on all the elements of painting in my own time and space. Painting from life is always an art of discovery – a self-portrait more so – especially in negotiating that fine line between objectivity and subjectivity,’ Hannaford says.

‘This portrait was painted in a period of recovery from a recent brain injury, caused by the after-effects of cancer treatment 15 years ago. The injury was to the visual cortex – a special challenge for a painter. The experience has helped me to see the world freshly and not to take my vision for granted.’

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