Oil on linen
152 x 186 cm
As a group portrait a quartet has five times the degree of difficulty of an individual portrait as each person has to be depicted as well as capturing their collective identity. The intensity of focus and the cohesion of the quartet is visually modelled in framing them around the arch of music stands and the framing with an arch around them and stage edge below.
When channel framed this becomes a frame within a frame in formal terms and sets off the subject well. The breaking of the line of the off white key by elements of the quartet emphasises their depiction. Formal painterly elements of surface sheen and texture are evident as is a concept of time in the motion of the bows and arms across instruments.
This is my Archibald entry of 2011, developed from drawings and watercolours done in concert. As they were in concert the absolute focus and passion for music comes through.
I have long wanted to paint a quartet and the Flinders Quartet were very generous and friendly when asked to sit. The whole experience was very enjoyable and a lovely artistic challenge.