National Gallery of Australia | Audio Tour | The National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition 2005

Geoffrey BARTLETT, Double self-portrait 2004



Double self-portrait is a sculptural re-exploration of concepts first undertaken through a body of aquatints while on a Harkness Fellowship in 1983–85 at Columbia University. At that time it was my intention to take back ground previously thought to be the domain of the painter, namely their facility to distort scale in an illusionary space. Giacometti explored similar issues by the placement of figures within an inferred landscape, resulting in the manipulation of our perception of their scale. In the case of Double self-portrait, the viewer is drawn into the pictorial space created by the black frame and may begin to imagine the two portraits to be of vast proportions. Double self-portrait also explores our perception of self and its many incarnations. The recurring fascination I have with ‘anima’ – the sculptural study of personality and more specifically its resulting investigation of the female side of the male personality – is a focus for Double self-portrait. For many years this has been a constant an