Bridie Dempster

Year 10
School: Perth Modern School
Medium: Charcoal and pastel on paper

Artist statement: Gail Gregson has been our neighbour since we moved in five years ago and has the most beautiful old house and garden I’ve ever seen. She is the wife of the late David Gregson, a respected Perth artist who specialised in bold and colourful landscape paintings. I decided to paint Gail because she is such a lovely, wise person and because I thought it would provide me with a challenge – to capture her personality. She tells the most interesting stories and can provide details about almost anything that has happened in Darlington over the last 60 years. I chose charcoal as a medium because I wanted to emphase Gail’s expression. I think that the softness of the charcoal suits my subject. I included the high back of the chair – it has significance as David Gregson used it in several paintings and dubbed it ‘the lucky chair’. I was inspired partly by Vernon Ah Kee’s style, particularly his approach to realism. I would like to think that the viewer will read the expression in Gail’s face, the wisdom in her eyes and the gentle amusement in the line of her mouth.

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