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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Catherine Livingstone, 2018

by Mathew Lynn

Catherine Livingstone, 2018 Mathew Lynn
Catherine Livingstone, 2018 Mathew Lynn

Catherine Livingstone AO (b. 1955) has been chair of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia since January 2017. After completing a commerce degree in 1977, Livingstone worked at Price Waterhouse in Sydney and London before joining Nucleus Ltd, a medical technology company, in which she held various roles including Chief Executive of Finance. During her six years as Chief Executive Officer of Cochlear Ltd the company made its initial public offering and expanded internationally. Since then, her combined specialities in technology, finance and strategy have enabled her to hold influential positions on numerous committees and boards. She has been chair of Telstra Corporation Ltd, CSIRO and the Australian Business Foundation; president of the Australian Museum, the Business Council of Australia and Chief Executive Women; has sat on the Boards of Macquarie Group Ltd, Goodman Fielder Ltd and Rural Press Ltd; and was a member of the NSW Government Innovation and Productivity Council. Currently, she sits on the Boards of WorleyParsons Limited, Saluda Medical Pty Ltd and the Australian Ballet and is a member of the Industry Growth Centres Advisory Committee. A powerful advocate for science and technology, in 2016 she became Chancellor of the University of Technology Sydney.

Catherine Livingstone
Video: 4 minutes 5 seconds

Mathew Lynn

‘Before anything else, I take all my cues and messages about someone from a place of intuition. I find it uncanny how that tends to be confirmed once I get to know someone better. I am interested in perceiving and capturing an inner animating signature, always open-ended, and when this is present, it acts as a threshold for the (sympathetic) viewer to fill their own imagination with the sense of who this person might be. In a sense Catherine and I chose each other, though we had not met. She recognised something in my work of herself, and I in turn immediately saw something of myself in her, recognising that immediate intuitive flash of how she could be represented. Above all else, I could say this portrait (and animating signature) is about ‘flow’, about a person highly effective and pre- eminent in their field, whose natural, even unconscious interpersonal style is one of ‘flow’. Flowing within the phenomena of her world, applying herself creatively and intuitively, in a way camouflaged, “following the green arrows” as she would say, this being in the deepest sense the signature of her effectiveness.’

Mathew Lynn (b. 1963), primarily a portrait painter, lives and works between Sydney and the Blue Mountains. His practice now explores traditional and contemporary representations of the figure and the phenomenon of personhood, based on and evolving from his many years of experience as a portraitist. Since obtaining his master’s degree in art from the University of New South Wales in 1996, he has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize fifteen times. He has twice been runner-up for the Archibald, and won the People’s Choice Award in 1997 and the Packers’ Prize in 2013. In 2010 he won the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award, in which he has been a finalist four times, most recently in 2016 for his portrait of singer David Lēha. He was a finalist in the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award in 2012 and 2014 and the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2012; in 2013 and 2014, he was a finalist and commended in the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing. He has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney and his portraits are in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery and Government House, Sydney.

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2018

Related information

Portrait of Li Cunxin, 2017–2018 (detail) by Jun Chen
Portrait of Li Cunxin, 2017–2018 (detail) by Jun Chen
Portrait of Li Cunxin, 2017–2018 (detail) by Jun Chen
Portrait of Li Cunxin, 2017–2018 (detail) by Jun Chen

20/20

Celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions

Previous exhibition, 2018

20/20 showcases the dynamic suite of new portraits commissioned to celebrate the National Portrait Gallery’s 20th year. Leaders and individualists invited by the Gallery were matched with unique artists to create distinctive contemporary portraits.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.