Black Swan Prize for Portraiture

14 November 2017
As Founding Sponsor, Lester Group are excited to announce the winner of the 2017 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.


Black Swan Prize for Portraiture - Winner 2017

Local artist and six time finalist Jana Vodesil-Baruffi from Shelley, won the coveted 2017 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, the third richest prize in Australia after the Archibald and the Doug Moran.

Her work titled Black Swan, an oil on linen, is a double portrait of a young woman suffering from an eating disorder. The judges described her work as a close observation of the human condition and they remarked on the meaningful use of the colour black. They also noted the beautifully painted hair, flesh and fabric to captivate the viewer, with a subtle contrast between two figures, one withdrawn and one bold.

Jana said that this work was one of the hardest things she has even done. "The need to try to help (my subject) to overcome her eating disorder was urgent and forever present. The failure was evident and in front of my eyes every second of my working time and long after, making me feel powerless and guilty. Her sad but strong gaze pierces my heart. My intention was to help her to see the grim reality of her condition, but my artistic eye was selfishly seeing the hidden beauty and magical symmetry in her structure".