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March 31, 2023

Strong women on show

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Portraits of strong influential women by a renowned award-winning Australian artist are now on show in the Tweed River Art Gallery.

The exhibition, Jenny Sages: Paths to Portraiture, is a collaboration between the Tweed Gallery and Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery, and is on display until 4 March next year.

Three portraits by Sages from the Tweed Gallery’s collection have been included in the expanded touring exhibition, which tracks the process of portrait-making by the artist. The large-scale portraits in the exhibition are displayed alongside preparatory drawings as well as other artworks, objects and materials that inspired and relate to the portraits.

The exhibition includes portraits of strong women influential in their fields of endeavour, including painter Emily Kngwarreye, author Helen Garner, dancer Irina Baronova, medical practitioner and public commentator Dr Kerryn Phelps and fashion designers Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke.

The exhibition also features a striking self-portrait by the artist.

Jenny Sages was born in 1933 to Russian parents in Shanghai, and grew up amid the city’s European expatriates. In her mid-teens she came with her parents to Sydney, but soon left art school there to study in New York. Having returned to Australia, for three decades she worked as an illustrator and writer of fashion and travel features for numerous magazines, including Vogue.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a short documentary film on the artist.

Next Friday 18 November from 5pm, the public is invited to join historian and curator at the National Portrait Gallery, Dr Sarah Engledow, and artist Jenny Sages for an informal conversation on the development of the exhibition, followed by the official opening at 6pm (for 6.30pm) by Dr Engledow.

Image: Jenny Sages’s portrait Heidi and Sarah Jane (Parallel Lives) 2009, from the Tweed River Art Gallery collection, is included in the touring National Portrait Gallery exhibition now on show.

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