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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.

Not your average teacher’s pet!

She was his ‘greatest student’ but in the end Ivy Shore chose between Graeme Inson, her life’s love – and art, her life’s work.

1Ivy Shore, 1961 Graeme Inson. © Estate of Graeme Inson. 2Artist, Mr. Graeme Inson in his studio in Sussex St. City, 26 June 1975 Sydney Morning Herald © Sydney Morning Herald.

A handwritten note accompanied Graeme Inson’s 1961 portrait of Ivy Shore, donated to the National Portrait Gallery in 2014: ‘Ivy in an orange raincoat … at the beginning of our relationship and amidst a turbulent break-up of an unhappy marriage’. It was this break-up that led Shore to take up painting lessons, and her teacher and mentor Inson subsequently moved in with his ‘greatest student’. But Ivy’s work found success as she departed from Graeme’s strict ‘Meldrum’ method in developing her own style, creating tension between her two loves. Shore maintained harmony by building a studio away from Inson’s disapproving eye, and entering the women-only Portia Geach prize (rather than competing against Graeme in the Archibald). In the end, Ivy sacrificed her creative outlet, giving up painting in 1993 for the sake of the relationship.

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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.