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Ellyse Perry, 2016

Fiona McMonagle

watercolour, ink and gouache on paper (frame: 80.6 cm x 84.6 cm, sheet: 62.0 cm x 57.3 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Ellyse Perry (b. 1990) has represented Australia in cricket and soccer and is the first Australian to have competed in the World Cups for both sports. Born in Sydney, she made her cricketing debut for Australia in July 2007 aged 16 and eight months – making her the youngest ever cricketer, male or female, to represent Australia. When she played her first Test in February 2008, three months after her seventeenth birthday, she became the youngest ever Australian to wear the baggy green. In between, two weeks after making her international cricket debut, she played her first game with the national women’s soccer team, the Matildas. Since then she has played 18 matches for the national side, scoring a goal against Sweden in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter-final. An all-rounder at cricket, she was the opening bowler in the team that won the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in Mumbai in 2013 and in 2015 she was player of the series of the Women’s Ashes in England. In early 2017 she was named the world’s leading cricketer in Wisden’s Cricketer’s Almanac. In the Women’s Ashes at Kent County Ground, Canterbury in July 2019 she gained 7 wickets for 22 runs in 10 overs with 4 maidens. Former England captain Charlotte Edwards says that Perry is the ‘greatest’ player the women’s game is ‘ever going to see’.

Fiona McMonagle, an Irish-born, Melbourne-based artist, grew up in an outer suburb of Melbourne and completed a qualification in visual arts at RMIT before progressing to the Victorian College of the Arts. Her graduation show in 2000 comprised a huge collection of watercolour portraits and she continued to specialise, adventurously, in the medium of watercolour for some years. In particular, she became renowned for painstaking animated works, rendered in watercolour. In 2010 she was awarded an Australia Council residency in London. In 2014 she won the Yarra Trams People’s Choice award at the Basil Sellers Art Prize and in 2015 she took out the invitation-only National Self Portrait Prize at the University of Queensland with an animated self-portrait. She was a major exhibitor in the Adelaide Biennial in 2016 and the National Portrait Gallery exhibitions The Popular Pet Show over 2016-2017 and So Fine in 2018. Her work is held by the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and several regional galleries.

McMonagle is a dedicated sportsperson and amongst her works are animated portraits of female boxers (The ring 2014) and female footballers (The huddle 2016). The portrait of Ellyse Perry is from a group of portraits by McMonagle of Australian women who excel in male-dominated sports, including jockey Michelle Payne, AFL footballer Moana Hope and rugby footballer Sharni Williams.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Accession number: 2017.105

Currently on display: Gallery Six (Tim Fairfax Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Fiona McMonagle (age 39 in 2016)

Ellyse Perry (age 26 in 2016)

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