Marianne Coutts’ work ‘Melbourne’ has been selected as the winner of the $18,000 Portia Geach Memorial Award. According to the judges, “Marianne Coutts’ work ‘Melbourne,’ is distinguished by a sense of honesty and directness, as well as an integrity of form and content which is the mark of a gifted artist. Her work balances the particularities of observation demanded by representation, with a painterly touch which is both vigorous and sensitive. The centrally placed figure gives an initial impression of simplicity which belies the spatial complexity of the composition. The work presents a profoundly satisfying integration of interior and exterior space and light which links the subjective space of artist’s studio to the world outside, and by implication, to the psychological space we occupy as viewers.” Read the complete judges’ report.
In the Daily Telegraph, reporter Elizabeth Fortescue presents a slide show and audio interview with Coutts, who is an artist in residence at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. She also lectures in drawing and painting at the Art and Design at Monash University.
“I paint have painted a lot of self-portraits,” Coutts said. ” At first it was simply an exercise in observation, but over time it has become the more considered practice of painting regular, contemplative self-portraits. It is now almost a narrative project which enables me to both document and reflect on the events and feelings of my life as well as consolidate the concerns of my creative work.”
This Portia Geach Memorial Award is awarded annually “for the best portraits painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters or the Sciences by any female artist resident in Australia.” Read more about the award.