• Sim Luttin


Portraiture in Western culture dates back to antiquity. Portraits tell stories about individuals and provide insights into their history, identity and culture. Artists past and present, emerging and famous are continuously drawn to depicting people through portraiture, providing a myriad of interpretations of sitters through the artist's eye.

“A portrait is not simply a representation of a person – it says something about who that individual is. While providing and insight into a person’s unique qualities, a portrait also "seeks to bring out whatever the sitter has in common with the rest of humanity." (Quoted in Shearer West,Portraiture, Oxford, 2004, p. 24) The artists at Arts Project Australia continue the Western tradition of portraiture by creating portraits of people they know, admire and aspire to be. They often depict people they see in the media, such as various sporting heroes, politicians, TV personalities, movie stars and people from popular culture. While the artists at Arts Project can readily paint friends and family from life, the portraits of people they admire are mostly painted from photographs, magazines and newspaper clippings they collect.

Curated by Sim Luttin, 6° OF SEPARATION focuses on connecting prominent personalities and leaders in the community with Arts Project and our artists. This project aims to introduce new people to our gallery and studio, so that they understand what we do and how we do it, while giving our artists an opportunity to meet new people and to create unique portraits drawn from life.

6° OF SEPARATION explores how far we can go to develop meaningful links with prominent figures in the broader community, in order to help cultivate unique experiences for the sitter and artists. The project culminates in an exhibition of portraits in July 2014 that link directly back to our artists and organisation. The final portraits may reveal the uniqueness of the sitter or, more importantly, may well highlight commonalities we all share. Those invited to sit for a portrait were asked to invite another prominent figure they know to sit for us, and the cycle continued until that particular thread stopped. Sitters include:

Lukas Markovic, Judy Holding, John-Michael Howson, Teagan Lowe, Kalman Warhaft, Katherine Wiles, Michael Caton, John Clarke, Jason Smith, Bryan Dawe, Ricky Swallow, Abi Crompton, Norman Rosenblatt, Alexandra Murray-Leslie, Peter Fay, The Hon. Heidi Victoria, Fiona Corke, Martin King, Mick Harvey, Thérèse Rein and Laura Trevor.

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I respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which I create and exhibit art. I pay my respects to Elders past and present, as well as to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the wider Melbourne community and beyond. Indigenous sovereignty has never been ceded. I acknowledge that I work and live country on which Members and Elders of The Wurundjeri people and their forebears have been custodians for many centuries and on which Aboriginal People have performed age-old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal. I acknowledge their living culture and their unique role in the life of this region.

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