The conversation

Serena Cowie

Artist Statement
My two sitters, Lexie and Maria, and myself, come from a generation where success and influence are determined by what is posted on social media. I see success as a journey that will far outlive the phenomena of Instagram or Twitter—unlike a photo, it is not instantaneous. Success is like a painting—a slow process that involves mistakes, setbacks and accidents. It is hoped the result will be a masterpiece of lessons and perseverance articulated through layers of brushstrokes. I admire Lexie and Maria because they are destined for success through their hard work—they are both masterpieces.

About the Subject
Maria Arvanitis and Alexandra Perrott are my oldest friends. Having grown up with my subjects for almost two decades, it was an intimate experience to truly look at them—dissecting every element of their countenance and translating that onto the canvas. What I created was not a technically mimetic replication of their faces, but rather an emotional portrayal of how I see and understand my friends. In many ways, what I produced was a more realistic portrayal, as it preferences emotions and intimacy over didactic physical features.

Further Insight
Born in 1998, Serena Cowie’s practice explores the complexities of human emotions and relationships in relation to contemporary politics, cultural narratives and social concerns.

Cowie is currently undertaking her Honours in Art History at the University of Melbourne. In November 2019, she hosted her first solo show Nightlight at Alternating Current Art Space in Melbourne, which explored melancholy within the city’s nightlife scene. Cowie was recently selected as a finalist in the 2020 Percival Portrait Painting Prize in Townsville.

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 50 cm x 50 cm

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