The 2022 Victorian Salon des Refusés
This portrait was submitted to the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture
click on artwork to enlarge
Cat#19 Joanne Morris
Charcoal & Mixed Media on Archival Pigment Print on Paper
102 cm w x 70 h
Yasemin Islek is a 26-year-old woman from Melbourne with Turkish ancestry. She is a part-time model, actor and dancer and an after-school-care worker. Yasemin is strikingly beautiful yet humble; she is physically tiny, but an avid kick-boxer.
In Roman mythology, the nymph Chloris transformed into Flora, the goddess of flowers, fertility and spring; both nymph and goddess were depicted by Renaissance painters such as Botticelli, often wearing crowns of flowers. In modern Australia, where images of women are frequently sexualised, I wanted my portrait to return to the essential feminine. Yasemin is represented as a modern-day Chloris/Flora, beautiful but humble, gentle but strong, full of life. In a departure from my usual charcoal-only process, I used coloured ink to highlight the internal power and beauty of womanhood.
In my portrait of Yasemin, I have tried to portray the tension between strength and fragility; between a person’s outward shell and their essence.