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THE PERCIVALS education kit

THE PERCIVALS education kit


PLANNING A VISIT Free guided tours are available, and for further information, or to give feedback on education and public programs provided by Gallery Services. Contact Perc Tucker Regional Gallery on (07) 4773 8871 or email

GALLERY SERVICES Through Gallery Services, Townsville City Council owns and operates two premier regional galleries, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in the city’s CBD, and Pinnacles Gallery located within the Riverway Arts Centre in Thuringowa Central.

THE PERCIVALS 2016 This education kit provides information about a selection of artists and artworks in the 2016 Glencore Percival Portrait Painting Prize and the DUO Magazine Photographic Portrait Prize exhibitions and highlights some of the themes, techniques and approaches to PORTRAITURE. The education kit is for secondary students and their teachers to assist in facilitating responses to both Percival exhibitions. The Glencore Percival Portrait Painting Prize, which was first held in 2007, attracts a significant number of entries locally, nationally and internationally and promotes the pursuit of excellence within the genre. The Glencore Percival Portrait Painting Prize offers a $40,000 major acquisitive prize, with the winning work entering the City of Townsville Art Collection to be appreciated by future generations. The DUO Magazine Percival Photographic Portrait Prize at Pinnacles Gallery coincides with the Glencore Percival Portrait Painting Prize. This marks the second year of the DUO Magazine Percival Photographic Portrait Prize, which expands The Percivals to now include entries of all forms of still photography. The major acquisitive prize of $10,000 is awarded by DUOMagazine.

THE PERCIVALS activity book




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S Perc Tucker Regional Gallery Cnr. Denham & Flinders St, Townsville QLD 4810 (07) 4727 9011

@TCC_PercTucker /PercTuckerTCC Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 2pm Closed Public Holidays

Pinnacles Gallery 20 Village Blvd, Thuringowa Central QLD 4817 (07) 4773 8871

@TCC_Pinnacles /PinnaclesTCC Tuesday - Sunday: 10am - 5pm Closed Mondays

Cover image: Janne Kearney Fight or Flight [detail] 2016, 90 x 120 cm, mixed media

Major Sponsor Painting Prize


Major Sponsor Photographic Prize

THE PERCIVALS education kit

Contents Research before you visit The Percivals 4

Key Terms 5

What is a Portrait? 6

Portraiture in Australia


Self Portraiture 9

Movements in Portraiture 10 Observation: during your visit to The Percivals 11

Expressions throughout The Percivals 12

Exploring tone and line in Portraits 13

Composition and The Rule of Thirds 13

Portrait Juxtaposition 14

THE PERCIVALS education kit


Key Terms • • •

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ABSTRACTION - freedom from representational qualities in art BISECTING - dividing in half, creating two parts of equal size CUBISM - an early 20th-century style and movement in art, especially painting, in which perspective with a single viewpoint was abandoned and use was made of simple geometric shapes, interlocking planes, and later, collage CURATE - to select, organise and look after the objects or works of art in a museum or an art gallery COMMEMORATIVE - acting as a memorial of an event or person COMMISSIONED - the act of ordering or authorising the creation of an artwork COMPOSITION - the placement or arrangement of visual components in a work of art COLLAGE - a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric on to a backing DOMINANCE - holding power or influence, most notable ELEMENTS OF ART - these include: line, shape, form, tone, colour, space, texture EXPRESSIONISM - an artistic style in which reality is distorted to express emotion FAUVISM - art movement centering on the vivid use of colour (which are often not representative of reality) and bold forms HARMONIOUS - complementary parts forming a pleasing whole HUMANISM - a cultural and intellectual movement that started during the Renaissance, broke away from the medieval tradition of pious religious motivation for creating works of art of literature and emphasised human potential to attain excellence, focusing on humans and their values, capacities and worth IMBALANCE - unequal in distribution, uneven IMPRESSIONISM - a painting style and movement that seeks to re-create the artist’s or viewer’s general impression of a scene JUXTAPOSED - the positioning or placing of contrasting items together for visual effect LINE - a continuous mark, able to be followed in one-dimension MEDIUM - the materials used to create a work of art (the plural of medium is media) MODERNISM - term given to the succession of styles and movements in art and architecture (including Impressionism, Cubism, Bauhaus, Surrealism, Futurism, Pop Art and Op Art) that

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embraced a radical break with the past (particularly in the years following World War I) and the concurrent search for new forms of expression through experimentation NATIONAL CHARACTER - an expression which describes forms of collective self-perception, sensibility and conduct which are shared by the individuals who inhabit a nation NEO-EXPRESSIONISM - a return to expressionism in the 1970’s, most commonly paintings which often depicted thick forms PICTORIALISM - a photography style that centers on beauty over documentation PORTRAITURE - the act of painting, drawing, photographing, or engraving an image of a person, especially one depicting only the face or bust of the subject POST-IMPRESSIONISM - developed roughly between 1886 and 1905 as a reaction against Impressionists’ concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour PRINCIPLES OF ART - these include: balance, proportion, emphasis, variety, movement, rhythm, harmony ROMANTICISM - artistic and intellectual movement that originated in the late 18th century as a counter response to industrialisation that stressed a return to a deeper appreciation of nature, beauty and emotion over intellect RULE OF THIRDS - used in composition to position horizons, lines and or subject matter in ways to add interest and be visually pleasing SELFIE - a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media SELF PORTRAITURE - the act of an artist producing a portrait of themself SITTER - a person who sits as a subject for a portrait SOCIAL-REALISM - a realistic depiction of life, usually carrying a political or social message SURREALISM - movement in art and literature that flourished in the early twentieth century and aimed to express imaginative dreams and visions free from conscious rational control TONE - describes the lightness or darkness of a work and is the result of light on a 3D object UNCONVENTIONAL - not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed

THE PERCIVALS education kit

What is a Portrait? PORTRAITURE is defined as the recording of an individual or group where the intent is to depict the visual appearance of the subject, human or animal, through painting, photography, sculpture, or any other MEDIUM. The word ‘portrait’ comes from the Latin word protrahere - to draw forth, reveal or disclose the inner essence, or to visualise the invisible. A portrait may be a likeness of a face or body, or a depiction of the physical presence of the sitter. Portraiture does not always need to be a highly realistic representation of the SITTER, but could also take the form of an ABSTRACTION of character, mood or personality. In Third daughter, Australian artist John Brack depicts his daughter Charlotte. What is most striking about this portrait is not the COMPOSITION or what the girl looks like, but how much character is conveyed. Clearly cranky, her clenched fists and posture show Charlotte being defiant and moody.

Image: John Brack Third Daughter 1954, ink, paper, drypoint, printed in black ink with plate-tone, from one copper plate, National Gallery of Australia

Describe the subject’s mood in each of these artworks from The Percivals: Mood:

Image: Yasmin Hunter Self Portrait 2016, 122 x 91.5 cm, oil on canvas


Image: Janelle Struss Crossover 2014, 50 x 40 cm, digital print

THE PERCIVALS education kit


Portraiture in Australia Portraits can be important historical resources. They reflect significant moments of change, as well as provide representations of culture, society and NATIONAL CHARACTER. Australian artists have long used portraiture as a vehicle to explore and understand landscape, society and the individual. Have a look at a selection of portraits throughout Australia’s early history: AUSTRALIA’S FIRST PORTRAITS Rock paintings are Australia’s earliest known portraits depicting spirits, ceremonies and hunting rituals. Found across Australia, rock painting was a form of art making and storytelling which predates European art traditions in Australia. These portraits and artworks are part of one of the oldest continuous records on Earth. AUSTRALIA’S EARLY COLONIAL PORTRAITS Theresa Walker was thirty when she arrived in Australia in 1837 and is acknowledged as one of Australia’s first sculptors and a significant portrait artist. Walker worked predominantly making wax sculptures of early settlers and Aboriginal people in the Australian colonies. She and her sister Martha Berkeley were both artists, while Walker worked as a sculptor, Berkeley mainly produced small portraits and miniatures. Both women were consistently painting and producing portraits of local citizens, clergymen and distinguished members of the community.

Image: Martha Berkley Anne Eliza Duff with her daughter Jessie c.1947, Adelaide watercolour on paper 16.5 x 13.3 cm

Image above: Theresa Walker Mrs Grey c. 1845, wax on wood medallion, 19 x 19 x 3.5 cm Image right: Theresa Walker Sir George Grey c. 1845, wax on wood medallion, 18.8 x 18.8 x 3.5 cm


THE PERCIVALS education kit

DEVELOPMENT OF PORTRAITS IN THE AUSTRALIAN COLONIES Following the 1851 Gold Rush in Australia, a small group of painters migrated from across Britain and Europe to Melbourne, Victoria. This group of artists included Georgiana MCrae, Thomas Napier, William Strutt, Ludwig Becker and Conway Hart. These artists of various skill, depicted Australian life and characters with distinctly European sensibilities. In 1854, Robert Dowling, considered to be Australia’s first locally trained portrait artist moved from Tasmania to Geelong, Victoria, joining this group of emerging artists. Dowling took a number of significant portrait commissions. This work, Mrs Adolphus Sceales with Black Jimmie on Merrang Station, is not just a portrait of a woman and a groom, but a Robert Dowling Mrs Adolphus Sceales with Black Jimmie on Merrang Station 1856, oil on canvas mounted on plywood memorial to Mr Adolphus Sceales. This painting Image: not signed, not dated, 76.0 x 101.5 cm, Purchased from the Founding Donor Fund 1984, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, NGA 1984.260 is a tribute to her husband who had died in 1853. The work evokes a shared life sadly cut short. As a COMMEMORATIVE picture, it is unusual because it does not include Mr Sceales, but simply his chestnut mount awaiting its absent rider, and the dogs that had also belonged to him. Questions • What is the effect of clothing in Robert Dowling’s work? • How would the portrait change if Mrs Sceales were dressed differently? • How would you approach a memorial painting? FEDERATION While many portraits can give an insight into an individual, some artists use the genre of PORTRAITURE to create works on an extremely grand scale. COMMISSIONED to be a work of national significance, Tom Roberts executed almost 300 individual portrait studies through sketching and photography at the first sitting of parliament in order to capture the historical event.

Image: Tom Roberts The Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York (Later King George V), May 9, 1901 1903, (AKA The Big Picture Collection: Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra) oil on canvas.

ACTIVITY • Think about painting a group portrait of your own. How you would approach a group portrait of the entire school? Think about depth, character, light, and which particular portraits of key people will require the most attention.

THE PERCIVALS education kit


Expressions throughout The Percivals 1. If you were going to ask an artist from The Percivals to depict you in a portrait, who would you choose? Artist name:

2. Describe what elements of the artist’s MEDIUM or style prompted your choice:

3. How has this artist conveyed the personality and character of the SITTER?

4. Which of your personality traits and characteristics would you like the artist to highlight? How could they be depicted?

5. Think of a friend or family member - what traits or characteristics make them unique? Person: Traits:

Person: Traits:

Person: Traits:


THE PERCIVALS education kit

Exploring Tone and Line in Portraits Sketch a portrait from the exhibition using the tools below. TONE LINE

Title: Artist: How does TONE and LINE differ between your sketch and the original artwork?

THE PERCIVALS education kit


Composition and The Rule of Thirds COMPOSITION refers to a balance or HARMONIOUS relationship between the visual elements according to the PRINCIPLES OF ART. These principles are used to structure the ELEMENTS OF ART, which are the building blocks of an artwork. THE RULE OF THIRDS AND THE PERCIVALS THE RULE OF THIRDS works because it demands that the artist makes one side more dominant than another. This DOMINANCE creates an IMBALANCE, and an IMBALANCE of any sort will always attract the viewer’s eye. BISECTING an image perfectly in half creates the least amount of interest, because everything is equally balanced.

Image: Ingvar Kenne Anonymous Couple, Holiday Makers, Chu Da, Vietnam 2015, 100 x 100cm, Type C print


Image: Irene Rae Caroline 2016, 80 x 60 cm, oil on canvas

THE PERCIVALS education kit

Choose an artwork to recreate here. Use the gridwork to divide the artwork into thirds.

THE PERCIVALS education kit


Self Portraiture SELF PORTRAITURE is one of the most interesting and complex forms of the portraiture genre. When the artist is both the subject and the creator, they are able to pick and choose which elements of their personality they communicate. Think about posing for your own self portrait. Would you pose the same way if you were taking a SELFIE on a phone or were painting a portrait of yourself? • In a painting, how would you depict yourself? What would you want to highlight about your personality, your face and your body? • What would you want to say about your connection to place or other people? Me (1992) is not recognisably Ken Done’s physical image, yet the painting is considered to be very ‘Ken Done’ through his characteristic use of bright colours. In this self portrait there are spots and stripes, two smiles, a moustache, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and three eyes. Clearly CUBISM, ABSTRACTION and colour are such huge influences on Done, he decided to depict himself with those ideas in mind.

Image: Ken Done Me 1992

During the 1980s and 1990s Ken Done was one of the most known and acclaimed artists in Australia. Done’s work extended beyond paintings to clothing, swimwear, homeware, and linen. Done’s work is introspective, indicating a complex personality. Done is also looking at what he may be remembered for and perhaps, how he may like to be remembered. •

Write a list of the things that interest you and your favourite objects. Construct a self portrait by layering images of these personal symbols on and around your own self portrait.

In the classroom, create an UNCONVENTIONAL self portrait. Write an artist’s statement to go with it. CURATE a class exhibition of these self portraits and discuss a title for the exhibition. • Explore ABSTRACTION by using COLLAGE. Consider using different elements of your physical appearance JUXTAPOSED with images that reflect you. Self portraiture can be incredibly powerful in its honesty and self reflection. Have a look at Rhonda Sharpe’s sculpture Rhonda (2015). This is a self portrait in which the artist bravely discusses her battle with alcoholism. She says that she is like two people, one the self-destructive alcoholic and the other, the happy artist. • •

Sharp chose the MEDIUM of soft sculpture to depict herself. At school or at home, research two other artists who also use this MEDIUM to portray themselves. Create a self portrait that reflects your emotional state. Use colour, texture, symbols and other elements to give viewers an insight into how you are feeling. Image: Rhonda Sharpe Rhonda 2015 Recycled naturally dyed blankets, embellished with wool, cotton, feathers


THE PERCIVALS education kit

Movements in Portraiture

There are various styles and movements in PORTRAITURE. Match the terms below to the corresponding artwork that displays those characteristics. In the lines provided, explain your decisions.






Image: Grace Cossington Smith Study of a head: self portrait 1916, oil on canvas on board, 26.0 x 21.0 cm, The Holmes à Court Collection, Heytesbury Pty Ltd, Perth

Image: Arthur Boyd Self portrait in red shirt 1937. Photo: NGA

Image: Rita Angus Self-portrait (Wanaka) 1939, oil on canvas

Image: Albert Tucker Self-portrait 1941, oil on paper board, 45.0 x 32.6 cm, Purchased 1982, NGA 83.3708, © Barbara Tucker, courtesy Barbara Tucker

THE PERCIVALS education kit


Image: Carol Jerrems (Carol Jerrems, self-portrait in front of wall with Australian Centre for Photography exhibition posters) 1974, gelatin silver photograph, 24.0 x 19.4 cm, Gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems 1981, NGA 81.3078.12, © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems

Image: Sidney Nolan Self portrait 1943, Ripolin enamel on hessian sacking, 61.0 x 52.0 cm, Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1997, © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/Bridgeman Art Library

Image: Julie Dowling Self portrait – in our country 2002, synthetic polymer paint, oil and red ochre on canvas

Image: Del Kathryn Barton You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella 2008, synthetic polymer paint, watercolour, gouache and pen on polyester canvas, 280 x 180 cm, © Del Kathryn Barton


THE PERCIVALS education kit

Portrait Juxtaposition Choose two portraits that are JUXTAPOSED beside each other in The Percivals: PORTRAIT 1


Title: Title: Artist: Artist:

What is similar between the two portraits?

What is different between the two portraits?

Write a brief analysis of each artwork and consider the following: the SITTERs facial expression, body language, the environment, and the MEDIUM used by the artist: PORTRAIT 1 PORTRAIT 2

How does having certain works sit next to each other change the way you view each portrait?:

ACTIVITY • At school or at home, take a number of different artworks or images and arrange these in various COMPOSITIONS. Document your arrangements. Take note of how different placements affect the feel and reading of the artworks.

THE PERCIVALS education kit



THE PERCIVALS education kit

The Percivals 2016: Education Kit  
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