Portrait of Prof Chandini Raina Macintyre in 2021 Archibald Prize Finlaists

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Ozlanka Webmaster (Quoted from UNSW Inside & NSW Art Gallery News Articles)

Karen Black 

Professor Chandini Raina Macintyre

oil on canvas

152.5 x 117 cm

Raina Macintyre is a renowned epidemiologist and professor of global biosecurity at the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute. She emigrated to Australia with her Sri Lankan family aged nine, and is now a global expert in emerging infectious diseases. She is an old girl of CMS Ladies College Colombo.

‘Alone in my studio during lockdown, I encountered Raina on television and radio, and became aware of the many women who hold prominent positions in science. Raina stood out with her jet-black curly hair and kohl-lined eyes. I decided then I would ask if I could paint her,’ says Black.

‘We only met once, due to the pandemic, in an alcove under the science research building at UNSW, and she told me many stories about her life. I painted the portrait in my studio, using notes and drawings from our meeting. She rarely takes off her necklace, which features an image of the Hindu goddess Kali (who destroys evil to protect the innocent) so I knew that had to be in the painting. I exaggerated the heavy kohl eyeliner to draw attention to her eyes, in which I have tried to portray her strength and compassion.’

(Please visit https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/archibald/2021/30269/)

 

The portrait of UNSW Sydney’s Professor Raina MacIntyre will be featured as a finalist in this year’s Archibald exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW).

The work, painted by artist Karen Black, portrays the renowned epidemiologist and professor of global biosecurity at the UNSW Kirby Institute in a colourful and deeply expressive way.

“Alone in my studio during lockdown, I encountered Raina on television and radio, and became aware of the many women who hold prominent positions in science. Raina stood out with her jet-black curly hair and kohl-lined eyes. I decided then I would ask if I could paint her,” said Ms Black.

“We only met once, due to the pandemic, in an alcove under the science research building at UNSW, and she told me many stories about her life. I painted the portrait in my studio, using notes and drawings from our meeting. She rarely takes off her necklace, which features religious symbols, so I knew that had to be in the painting. I exaggerated the heavy kohl eyeliner to draw attention to her eyes, in which I have tried to portray her strength and compassion.”

“I was honoured and touched to be asked by Karen to have my portrait painted, and blown away by her work. She is acutely aware of issues of gender equity and wanted to amplify the voices of other women in her work” said Professor MacIntyre.

This year marks 100 years of the Archibald Prize. The prize is one of Australia’s most prestigious art awards, awarded to the best portrait painting and providing a snapshot of the culture of the nation at the time with portraits of famous politicians, sportspeople and other major public figures.

In the past century, only 10 women artists have ever won the Archibald, and only 17 sitters have been women. In 2021 for the first time, the Archibald Prize has achieved gender parity, with half of its 52 finalists being female.

You can see Karen Black’s portrait of Professor Raina Macintyre today by visiting the exhibition in its new location at AGNSW’s lower level 2, and you can even vote for your favourite portrait in the ANZ People’s Choice award before entries close on 29 August. The exhibition closes on 26 September.

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