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Portrait of Margaret Olley in her Paddington studio, 2011

by John McRae

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 People's Choice Award

Portrait of Margaret Olley in her Paddington studio, 2011

People's Choice, National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012

I had the great pleasure of photographing Margaret in her Paddington studio, a place well known for its colourful clutter and referred to by some friends as 'The Dolls House'. In my portrait, Margaret is seated in her painting chair, confronting the lens with her particular sense of candour and an uncommon frailty. As far as I know, this may well be the last photo taken of her before her death the following month. Christine France - art critic, author of Margaret Olley (1990), commented, "It is a wonderful photo in that it captures both the vulnerability and sense of enquiry which entered her face in the last months of her life".

Other NPPP photos from John McRae