NORA HEYSEN AND STELLA BOWEN
There are strong parallels that can be made between Nora Heysen’s 1934 self-portrait and Stella Bowen’s work of c.1929. In each of these self-portraits the artist is subjected to intense scrutiny; the background is pared away, gesture is rendered redundant by the close focus on facial features. There is a maximum of detail, yet the face gives little away. Bowen’s face, even in shadow, is determined. This is a private self-portraiture, undertaken as self-affirmation, with each work remaining with the artist (or family) for many years. However, neither Heysen nor Bowen worked exclusively within the private domain, both being appointed official war artists.