- Catalogue Number
- Title and Date
- Helen Garner 1992
- Description of Featured Image
- Portrait of the writer Helen Garner, showing the face and neck. Garner’s head is turned slightly to the left. Although inscribed ‘12’, this is actually an impression of the tenth and final state of this print.
- Where Made
- Dunmoochin, Cottles Bridge
- Medium Category and Technique
- Intaglio Print: Drypoint on copper
- Wove paper. Identified papers: No papers identified.
Image size: 280 x 204 mm
Matrix size: 281 x 206 mm
- Artist’s Record Number
- Printer(s) and Workshop(s)
- All impressions printed by Rick Amor in his Dunmoochin studio, Cottles Bridge.
- Summary Edition Information
- Ten states. Edition of five numbered impressions, 1992.
- State Library of Victoria, Melbourne: twelve state impressions, numbered 1 through 12; ed. 4/5.
- National Gallery of Australia, Canberra: ed. 3/5 (2007.633).
- University of Melbourne Art Collection: ed. 2/5 (1996.0011.000.000).
This is the first of five portrait prints of Australian writers that Amor was commissioned to make for the literary journal Overland, by its editor, the poet Barrett (Barrie) Reid, in 1992. The only woman in the group was Helen Garner (b. 1942), a writer of fiction and nonfiction, as well as a journalist and screenwriter.
In 1992, Garner was fifty years of age and had recently published the fictional work Cosmo Cosmolino. While Amor knew some of the writers he had been commissioned to portray, this was not the case with Garner. Amor met her for the first time when he went to draw her at her home in Melbourne on 29 October 1992. The resulting pencil portrait became the model for the present drypoint. The sketch is oriented in the same direction as the print but is placed higher up on its page and includes more of the neck and shoulders. However, the slightly turned head and the facial expression are extremely similar in the two works.
Although Amor took the drypoint through ten states and printed several variant impressions, many of the adjustments he made in the states were very small ones, as he laboured to capture not only the likeness of his subject but also the expression that he had captured in his drawing.
Amor’s other subjects for the 1992 Overland commission were Barry Hill (cat. no. E.070), David Malouf (E.072), Chris Wallace-Crabbe (E.080) and Barrett Reid (E.081).
- Helen Garner, Overland (journal), Portrait
Record last updated 16/08/2017