The 2021 Victorian Salon des Refusés
This painting is part of the ‘Our Entries’ exhibition -
a collection of post Archibald entries from
Gippsland artists at the Rosedale Mechanics Hall
through November 21st.
click on artwork to enlarge
Cat #7 Laurel Foenander
'THE TRUTH SAYER', CHRISSIE FOSTER
Oil on Linen
183 cm h x 122 cm w
Chrissie Foster is an extraordinary human, an author and activist who has dedicated her life to campaigning for the rights of survivors of institutional sexual abuse. Her own family was tragically marred by the heinous crimes of a Catholic Priest, and the brutal cover-up that followed, as detailed in Chrissies’ first book ‘Hell on the Way to Heaven’. Despite their own tragic losses, she and her husband Anthony were instrumental in the establishment of Julia Gillard’s Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse and the subsequent apology to survivors.
In this portrait I have tried to convey the contradictions inherent in my sitter. She is seemingly fragile yet very strong, has a steely gaze and incredible kindness, and despite the grim nature of her work, her dazzling smile is never far away, The obvious David and Goliath narrative in this picture refers to Chrissies’ life mission, and the dramatic cloudscape alludes to historic classical paintings commissioned by the powerful religious benefactors. The spiders in the darkness speak for themselves. I found the full body format on a tall canvas very challenging to paint, but I really enjoyed the fruity - patterned top.