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

Laura Jones Claudia (the GOAT)

oil and acrylic on canvas

198.2 x 152.6 cm

Actor and producer Claudia Karvan has worked in the industry since she was a child. It’s been two decades since she was first seen in the Archibald, in 2003, in a portrait by Martine Emdur.

‘I painted Claudia’s portrait after seeing The goat, or who is Sylvia? at Sydney Theatre Company,’ says three-time Archibald finalist Laura Jones. ‘[American playwright] Edward Albee’s play is a dark, satirical comedy in which Claudia’s character, Stevie, sees her perfect middle-class world crumble around her. She gave a brilliant performance.

‘Claudia sat for the portrait between a matinee and evening show, so she was still in costume and, in a sense, still in character. The theatre was empty and the lighting was low, with just the reflected light bouncing up from the stage floor. I took photos and drew her as we chatted away about life and love.

‘I have known Claudia for a few years now and relish her infectious energy and humour. At the end of the play, her character ends up covered in blood. Claudia looked at the portrait in progress and cheekily said, “More blood!”’

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