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Judith Bell by Amanda Penrose Hart

Judith Bell on my couch in Brisbane

Amanda Penrose Hart

About the artist

Born in Brisbane in 1963, contemporary painter Amanda Penrose Hart studied at QCA, Griffith University. Working from landscape and travelling informs most of Penrose Hart’s paintings. Whether en plein air or recalling the memory of a certain place, Penrose Hart captures these experiences through her impasto application of paint as much as the imagery portrayed. Penrose Hart has had 23 solo exhibitions and shown in many more group exhibitions. She regularly has work selected in prizes. She says: “To draw and paint is a strange yet humbling occupation. To paint is to unravel, deconstruct, explore and repack the truth. To look it to see  – to see is what is most important. It sounds obvious but to see is everything.” She is the 2019 winner of the Clayton Utz Art Prize.

About the sitter

Born in an incredibly “artistic” home, Jandowae, on the Darling Downs, and raised in Brisbane, Bell has long sustained her passion for art. A shared interest between her and husband Graham Bell, ensued. Her multifaceted career saw her teach for 30 years, become a member of the Trustee board for Brisbane Boys Grammar School as well as a Member of the University of Queensland Senate for 10 years. Most notably, she was one of 4 commissioners who supported the full time commissioner for the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission, and in 2003 she received the Queensland Centenary Medal. She told artist Amanda Penrose Hart rather casually of her passion for collecting fine art, specifically paintings and ceramics. Penrose Hart says: “My conversations with Judith explored curatorship, womens education, and community outreach, her incredibly interesting facial structure intrigued me; an older woman whose beautifully refined features mirror a career and personality, intrinsic to her life passions.”