Archibald Prize 2016: Art Gallery of New South Wales

‘I have always been fascinated in the self-portraits of female artists. We generally see women through the eyes of male artists. The way female artists represent themselves through their own eyes and hands contains a wonderful directness,’

‘This painting speaks about looking. I’m in the midst of capturing my own directly reflected gaze, while at the same time my painted self is in the midst of capturing the viewer’s.


‘You are constantly changing with time and so every stroke of paint captured the death of a moment on my face. I attempted to retain the vulnerability and directness of this confrontation with the self through the dimensions of the painting,’ says Walsh.


‘I have painted the work on copper as it behaves very differently from materials like wood and canvas. Until it is sealed by the layers of paint, it is a very active surface. From the moment that I prepared the surface, it began to naturally oxidise. Different pigments changed colour in response to this process and the painting visibly aged as I worked on it. I would make a mark and the material would respond.’


Natasha Walsh
Self-portrait, 2016
oil on copper
25 x 22.5 cm