Fiona Lowry, Penelope Seidler (detail), Archibald winning portrait 2014.

Fiona Lowry

Sydney based artist Fiona Lowry's latest body of work is a series which focuses on documenting sites that are "coloured by the violence that has taken place within them" (Lowry, 2007). From this series came What I Assume You Shall Assume for which Lowry won the 2008 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. This self-portrait shows Lowry, naked, in the Belanglo State Forest, the site of the infamous back-packer murders. Fiona won the Archibald Prize in 2014 for her portrait of architect Penelope Seidler.


"This project that I started last year (2013) at Bundanon is based around the story of John ‘black’ Caesar a black slave from America who sought freedom with the British only to end up a convict in Australia. It’s a really curious story because it reveals that Australia was a multi-racial process from the outset and has the ability to change the way we think about the foundation of Australia.

For this series I am interested in what must have been the despair around his relationship with a fellow convict Anne Power, whom he had 2 children with,one can only imagine the terror and despair that must have surrounded them and predictably he was shot and killed not long after.

It seems that those early days here must have been terrifying. Within this story is universal truths about love, loss and despair and this series engages with these idea. Using the forest and the river at Bundanon as the setting I am also acknowledging the Arthur Boyd's Bride series." - Fiona Lowry