Almost 150 works were selected from nearly 1,000 entries. 2014 judges were, Edmund Capon AM OBE, and Lewis Miller, Australian Artist. Both viewed all entries and made their selection of semi finalists.

Very chuffed to be selected as a semi finalist regardless of the outcome. The portrait was flown up to Sydney for a second round of judging. She didn’t make the final cut of 30 finalists but I feel so content that Ms Soula is going to great lengths to create awareness for invisible pain.

Ms Soula, Self Portrait. Oil on board. Statement as follows:

I found painting my self directly, was too confronting. The pain would consume the artwork and the happiness that I prefer to document in my artwork began to fade.

I believe it was a trip to Italy that influenced me to commission puppeteer, @ColleenBourke to make a ‘Soula’ marionette. Now, in focusing on painting ‘me’ as a marionette, it is strength, hope and
survival that surfaces in my work, instead of pain.

The marionette, Ms Soula, shows no sign of her invisible illness. Her strings are a metaphor for the loss of independence that comes with chronic illness. The portrait is one of great hope and also shows the immense support I’ve had from my partner, Theo, whose portraits so aptly crept into this scene.

My creative ability is what I admire greatly, and specifically how it translated into a survival mechanism as I dealt with chronic pain. Chronic pain is a serious health issue and still very misunderstood. I hope to create awareness for its invisible qualities.

View the semi-finalists for 2014. View the finalists for 2014