Lynn Savery has taken out this year’s Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Australia’s richest art prize worth $150,000. A self-taught painter and full-time carer, this is the first major prize for the 58-year-old artist from Melbourne. Her winning self-portrait, selected from a shortlist of 30 finalists, explores socially constructed gender norms.

Lynn Savery’s winning self portrait. Photo supplied 

Accepting the prize at Paddington’s Juniper Hall this morning, Savery described herself as “really taken aback”, stating that she had no expectation of her portrait even making the finals. In her artist statement, Savery wrote that she posed with a ‘manspread’ in order to “illustrate how body posture contributes to gender stereotypical impressions.” This is her first portrait and first oil painting.

Artist Louise Hearman, Ron Radford AM and Co-Founder and Director of the Moran Arts Foundation, Greta Moran, had the difficult task of judging 1050 entries. Among the finalists were heavyweights Peter Churcher, Vincent Fantauzzo, Jan Nelson, Nick Stathopoulos and Peter Smeeth.

“The judges were in agreement, we admired the meticulous attention to detail and beautiful placement of the figure and her dog in the picture composition,” said Radford. “The portrait had a real impact in its...

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