Portia Geach Prize Finalist!


Carmel Debreuil a Finalist in the Portia Geach Memorial Award
Opening Night and Winner’s Announcement 6 November 2014
Exhibition Closes 14 December 2014
S.H. Ervin Gallery
Watson Road, Millers Point (The Rocks)
Ph +61 2 9258 0173

Red Rock artist Carmel Debreuil has reached new goals with the recent announcement of her inclusion as a finalist in the Portia Geach Memorial Award.

“I’m so blown away to be chosen as a finalist – my heart is thumping and I’m jumping for joy! I’ve entered my painting The Lion and the King, a portrait of my amazing muse Jaida King. She has been my model for over twenty five paintings and for me is a perfect example of the spunky, courageous and sassy little Australian women!”

Debreuil paints with bold acrylic colours on plywood, using the knots of the wood as a feature of her artwork. She is well known for her quirky nostalgic paintings of children wearing glasses, cowboy boots and viking helmets, often posed with outsized animals. Debreuil is a prolific artist and has created over two hundred pieces in the last couple of years alone. She has particpated in many group and solo shows, the most recent being a successful solo at the Brisbane Modern Art Gallery. She has been featured in online blogs and magazines including Ink and Arrows from the US and Queensland Living Magazine.

“This is definitely a highlight of my career to date. There are so many talented female artists in the exhibition and I’m really looking forward to hanging in such good company. The S.H. Ervin Gallery is a beautiful space in a beautiful environment and I can’t believe one of my little muses is going to live there for a month. I hope she and her lion don’t leave dirty footprints on the carpet!”

The Portia Geach Memorial Award Exhibition is held at the S.H. Ervin Gallery on Observatory Hill in Sydney. Opening Night is 6 November 2014 and the show runs until 14 December 2014.

From the Perpetual Trust Company:

The Portia Geach Memorial Award is a celebration of female Australian artists. It’s Australia’s most prestigious portrait prize for female artists and has greatly contributed to the development of female artists in this country.

It was established by Florence Kate Geach in 1961 in memory of her sister, Portia Geach and is awarded each year to the best portrait painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters or the Sciences.
A list of 49 finalists has been announced today, Thursday 16 October 2014, for the country’s most revered portrait prize for female artists, the Portia Geach Memorial Award. This year more than 300 entries were received – the highest number of entries in the past five years

Commenting on the shortlist of finalists, the judging panel said: “Painting is alive and well amongst the new generation of female artists in Australia and this list of finalists reads like a who’s who of the future of Art in this country.

The judging panel for this year’s award comprised of: Director S.H Ervin Gallery, Jane Watters; Artist and Trustee of Art Gallery of New South Wales Ben Quilty; and Trustee of Art Gallery of New South Wales, Samantha Meers.

Perpetual General Manager of Philanthropy Andrew Thomas said “Privately funded awards such as the Portia Geach Memorial Award are essential to recognising and supporting the talent of Australian female artists. As trustee of the award, we are proud to be part of such an important contribution to the arts community.”

A big grateful thank you to the folks who have included me in this long established exhibition!

For more information please contact:
Carmel Debreuil


August 20, 1985


August 20

We woke up (of course) and I ahd cereal for brekky. We lugged our luggage dwon after repacking anything extra. I wore my Italian Tshirt today. Then we got on the Underground for 20 stops til Heathrow. At the airport we got a cart and went to the first waiting room. I bought a London Tshirt at the store – what a mistake. It’s handwash, ugly, expensive and I could have gotten a nicer one there or in the Dirty Tree shop in the second waiting room. Oh well.

We all read, munched on chocolate bars and bought a bit of candy while we waited to board.

Finally we went to the third waiting room and now are on the plane to…. HOME.

I have a window seat but we are on the wing again. Poopers. Take off was OK.

Right now I’m listening to the radio. They have the exact thing that was on last time – two months ago.

“Madonna was recently spotted….” Huh.

I’m sort of sad to leave and sort of sad to come home. I’m nervous because things are so different for me but I doubt if much has really changed at home. Of course there will still be parties and stuff – gossip, but I will still be Carmel, the old one to them. I’m sad too cos now I’ve really shaped up and two months I’ll probably be back to my old lumpy self. Just HAVE to watch myself. If I exercise a lot (in the morning at school in the gym before school starts) and watch what I eat. I can’t wait to see Darianne because I can talk to her about the trip. She is so nice because we can both talk about the same things.


I wonder what Dad is doing right now.


We had some lunch and then I slept for a long time. I woke up and watched the last half of Karate Kid. It was quite predictable. We had to fill out a form for Canada Customs.


We got served a lunch of a cucumber, cheese and ham sandwich, orange juice, a scond with jam, butter and CLOTTED CREAM! We landed and went through customs without even being checked! They just sent it on through! We all went to the waiting room and then – waited for the plane. There is some sort of strike here with the flight attendants or something. Cherie and mum sweated profusely on the plane and I had to lend them some Un Jour. Mum put some in her pits. Charles J would be shocked. I also had to lend mum some socks and a clean Tshirt.

The girl on the intercome just said “Thank you”- and that’s all – stuhrange. We are on the plane to Winnipeg now but we haven’t left.

Guess what! We are on the same plane as Mr. Burttles from Carman (Miami art teacher, Ronnie and Darianne have him.) Anne Ginter or whatever her name is also on here I think. She’s wearing a blue jacket and has blonde hair and glasses so I think it’s her. He’s sitting behind us and she is sitting across and in front of us. Yeah, it is her. He just called her Anna. He said its his daughter! I didn’t know that. I think she is Ronnie’s girlfriend. This is almost as bad as meeting Dietmar in Heraklion but not as freaky as meeting Art and John in Paris. Nothing could be that weird.

Mum does NOT want Burttles to recognize us. Tee hee hee. She said it’s lucky dad’s not here. I don’t think Pa likes him too much.

A girl with the worst accent ever for French just gave us safety instructions. The one showing us could just barely keep from laughing. Neither could understand French and were just having a jolly time. When they finished everyone clapped and they laughed. We’re starting to take off now … eeek!!


We are on our way hom home! Well we are about an hour or so away from home.

I can’t even imagine what it will be like. It’s just like our flight to London. I hope dad’s doing OK. Mum’s laying down on the seat. Cherie has her head on her lap but I get her sweaty feet against my knee. Yeck!

There is something on this plane that keeps whining and buzzing intolerably.


We landed and got off the plane. Robin and Helena (“the girl”) met us at the airport. We talked all about our trip and Robin’s forest fire fighting and went to Grampa’s for a visit. We just walked through the door and Jan called. A very pleasant surprise. Later Kristen and Tammy called. My room was flooded during the six inch rainstorm and my art book got ruined. I only got to sleep about 1.00 am.


August 19, 1985


August 19

Woke up and had brekky. I had to sit with these two California girls and mum and Cherie sat with two Irish men. Then we hopped on the subway and went to Harrod’s. It wasn’t crowded at all when we were there. We looked at furniture and dishes and decided we want a tea trolley for our sun room and the dishes we saw were Royal Dulton’s Diana of the Romantic Collection. We also went through the food hall, Cherie bought mixed Jelly Bellies and I bought a chocolate bar.

After that we reconfirmed our flight ad went to Covent Gardens. We had some lemonade (7-Up) there then looked around. (Oh – on the way there from the subway, we stopped at a theatrical costume shop – real neat). At the market they were selling second hand stuff. This time I bought a ring (blue) and a brooch (red). I was going to buy a mens’ housecoat (silk – red) but it was too much. What a drag. We had lunch at a little outdoor restaurant there – I had a salad, Cherie had spags and mum had a baked potato.

Then we went to Canada House and called Gramps collect – it sure made us want to go home. It’s been raining there, Gramps is still single and Robin has brought a girl home. After that we went to look for gifts for Gramps and the boys. We looked all over for a Donogal Tweed Cap for Gramps. When we finally found one it was 19.50 pounds – far more than we can afford. Instead we bought him a vest ad the boys sweaters. After that frantic search we glanced through the Reject China Shop. Then – a real English tea. Just freshly brewed Ceylon tea and thinly sliced cucumber and mayonnaise (as well as some fresh carrot, tomatoes, and cheese) sandwiches and stopped off with hot scones, butter, fresh jam and clotted cream – excellent.

Cherie and I convinced mum she should get herself a dress (I think she would have been disappointed if she didn’t get one) so we rushed off to Laura Ashley for fifteen minutes of frantic shopping. The outfit she finally bought (a red cotton wool skirt and a flower print cotton smock style blouse) she didn’t even try on because she wasn’t allowed to, cost about $100 and looks fantastic. When we got home we made her model it with my shoes and different blouses, belts, brooches etc. It is an excellent outfit and looks really good on her.

We all showered and then raced (I mean literally raced) off to see a play and arrived at the Globe Theatre with 3 minutes to spare. The play was called Daisy Pulls it Off and it was the BEST play I have EVER seen. It was a comedy about a scholarship girl at a boarding school done in the Enid Blyton/Angela Brazil style – the snob, the sports cap/head girl, the storm, the rescue of the snob, etc. Oh it was so great – I wish we could put it on at school.

Now we have to pack. Cherie’s munching away on Wimpy’s (uggggh) food and mum’s packing like a mad woman , the TV’s on and I don’t want to leave England, but I want to go home – Wahhhh!


August 18, 1985


August 18

Got to sleep on the train and woke up at about 5.30 or so and had to line up for about 3/4 of an hour to get to the luggage dept. then another 15 mins to get to the passports checkout and finally to the trains. We finally got a car and I got one seat. Right across from them these two girls each had two seats each. I woke one to ask if anyone was using the seats. She said no for hers but the other girl had a “rucksack” on it. I asked if that was empty too and she said “Yeah but then there’s not room for the rucksacks are there?” I felt like saying that the goddamn rucksack didn’t pay for a seat.

Just now regarding that we have had an announcement.
“We serve coffee, tea and any other drink you may require. Please keep rucksacks and baggage off the seats – all seats will be needed on this train, (then while the whole train was laughing) Please keep your feet off the seats.”

That guy had the most strangled voice I’ve ever heard!

There was also a guy locked in the toilet. He wrecked a credit card trying to get out. Finally mum gave his friend a pen and they twisted the doorknob off. (I don’t know if the pen did it though).

We got to the station and stashed our bags. Mum cashed a travelers cheque and we looked around for a hotel. We decided to go back to the Ferndale area and found one called the Devon Hotel (or MacDonald Hotel – take your pick – choose your door). We went out for a fast food lunch and went to see Dickens’ house but it was closed. So then we went back to the station and lugged our luggage back to the hotel. Finally we slept and slept and slept – from noon till 6.00 (well mum and I did – Cherie watched The Smurfs).

When we woke up we went to the Kings Cross Fish Bar for fish and chips (Cherie), fish and scampi (me) and Cornish pasty and chips (mum) with tea all around.

Then we got a couple of newspaper things (NME, Sounds and What’s On in London) read and watched TV for a while (eg. It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet) then slept. It was so great to relax all day after such a busy day with only two hours of sleep in it.


August 17, 1985


August 17

In the morning we packed up all the clothes and found dad a hotel. He’s staying at 3 Rue des Carmes and met a surrealist artist at the place he’s staying at. After that we walked to the top of St. Michel Metro stop and took a double decker train to Versaille. It was packed at the Palace so we didn’t even go in. Instead we walked around the grounds. They were renting out bikes and boats but we didn’t rent them. We saw the most gorgeous place – Marie Antoinette’s little house where she played milkmaid. It was all thatched roves, trees, rocks, lakes, bridges, tiny houses, towers and gardens. There was a spiral staircase wound around a tree – it was just like walking into a fairytale. We also saw the Temple of Love, Grand Trianon and the Small Trianon. I didn’t even want to see the big palace after!

We had supper (actually sort of between lunch and supper cos it was only about 4.30 – tea, maybe) in Versaille the town. We were going to go shopping at Printemps again but got back to Paris too late.

Instead we walked up St. Michel and had a drink. I had a chocolate crepe which was a real disappointment cos it was pretty gross.

We went to the Patisserie des Carmes and bought some chocolate for the Huts and the Grand Parents. Then we got our baggage and went to the train station three hours early.


We just said by to dad – I feel so sad and I miss him already. I feel like crying but I’m not goingt to right now anyway. I’ll bet he feels so alone. I’m going to write him a lot.

We all did the French good bye – two kisses on each cheek and a big hug. In another waqy I’m glad we are on our way but.

We met these black guys sitting across from us who have the strangest laughs. The one whose address I got looks like Tina Turner, Prince and Michael Jackson. He has a sister who is 16 or 17. I talked a lot of French to them and they helped correct me.

We also met these cute blonde haired, rosy cheeked British boys! Everybody in the train got off on the wrong stop – at Dunkirk instead of Dunkirk Maritimes. After sitting in the hall for 15 minutes we waited in line to board the train for an hour or so and met some fat, disinterested, pickpocketed Candians.

We put our stuff in the baggage compartment of the boat. (I’m sure something is going to be stolen.) and then searched around for a seat. We found some and presently Mum and Cherie are checking the passports. I’m soooo tired because I haven’t slept a wink and we have done sooooo much walking!


August 16, 1985


August 16

Got up and was too late for brekky. Mum and Dad returned from an exhausting search around Paris for a bank. We were going to go to Versaille but changed our mind and spent the day in Printemps. I got my haircut and it looks OK. I also bought a Printemps tShirt and a bandeau. Then we went home and had an excellent meal. Mum and Dad are gone to do the laundry and tomorrow we got to Versaille and off to London then home!

We just did the packing – actually part of it. Half the stuff isn’t dry cos ma and pa ran out of Francs.

August 15, 1985


August 15

In the morning we walked to the Rodin Museum and bought Deb her present. Then we went to the Jeaux de Pommes but it was closed. Then to the Champs to get my shoes which were not available. We had some lunch in the hotel and were off to the St. Chappelle and Concierge which was quite excellent and scary. We returned to the hotel for a few brief moments of supper and went to the Moulin Rouge and Sacre Couer. On our way home we went by the Old Metro. Finally sleep!

August 14, 1985

August 14

Mum and dad got up really early and went to the Canadian embassy. When Cherie and I got up for brekky at ten to nine we locked ourselves out of the room. We met some people (a man and his daughter from Wisconson. A maid opened up our door and we started to clean up but that has slowed down. Yesterday I braided Cherie’s tail really small and today we undid it. I think she’ll wet it soon cos it’s pure frizz. Went with mum to buy jeans and a shirt. I bought a red t shirt. I also bought my pink Sorbonne sweatshirt. Dad probably won’t stay in Paris cos it’s too hard to find a place to stay. We went to the Jeu de Paume (Apple Juice) but there was a huge line. We went to the Renoir show instead and it was EXCELLENT. I didn’t really know or appreciate his work before but the Little Boheme is just great. (I’m not sure about the name.) We had these tape recorder things that really added a lot.

We walked down the Champse de E. The shoes I wanted to buy were no longer available. How depressing. We went to Samaratine. I bought some clown white and some perfume. The perfume is Quartz and I also got Du Jour by Charles Jourdan – it’s really pretty. For lunch which was after I bought the Sorbonne sweatshirt we bought some groceries for lunch and ate in the hotel. We did the same for supper. We had boursanne and camonberre cheese and the best pastry – pain au chocolate. It’s like a croissant with a milks chocolate bar in the middle – YUM. We also had fruit and fresh bread and water. Cherie and I watched this movie with Ava Gardner and some guy called Gary and a dad – Anthony Quinn and a girl called Regine. (The name of the show) who had about three lines. It was so stupid. The credits ran by just now. The guys name was Carry. Well not much else happened today except that I have about 5 francs left now. I have to cash another travelers cheque to buy my shoes and some perfume.

August 13, 1985

August 13

Got up and had a good breakfast of H.C., jam, butter, baguettes, and croissants. We went to Notre Dame and then to St. Chapelle. St. Chappelle wasn’t open and there was a huge line so we are leaving it til later. We walked along the Seine looking at Art Gallerys. Then we went by Metro to Galleries Lafayette. We had lunch on the top floor after looking at the view from the roof. I bought a white pleated Emanuelle skirt and a pair of gloves and a head bandeau. Emanuelle is the name of the designer whose magazine Anita has. They had a video playing with the same models in the magazine. After that we went to Printemps where I got the most beautiful blouse. It is white, has a wide collar and this lacey design and seed pearls. I had tried on blouses at the Laura Ashley in G.L. but they weren’t have as nice and were twice as expensive. I also got some body shimmer, this sparkly pink powder. What a great day. All I have left to buy is my Paris sweatshirt, my shoes, a London sweatshirt and some perfume if I have enough money.

We all rested then we went out for supper on St Michel or Rue des Carmes (I’m not sure which) at a little sidewalk café. I drew a little later then went to sleep.


August 12, 1985


August 12

Mum and Dad got up early to look for a hotel. Cherie and I got up later and had brekky and when Mum and Dad came back we took a cab to the hotel. The cabby took 500F from dad and gave back 100 F saying he couldn’t make change for it. Mum gave him 50F for the fare because she didn’t realize what had happened so the fag got 400F plus fare. What a jerk. That’s about $70. Anyway then we slowly made our way to the American Express. On the way home some gyspy kid tried to pick pocket mum but she told him to get his hand out of her pocket. Also on the street we met a woman who had something like gas thrown into her eyes. We went into one of the buildings to get some water for her and brought her in. When we finally got to the A.E. there were no letters for us which was really disappointing.

We went to the market which was highly overpriced old junk and the whole area smelled like piss. We had some lunch and returned to the hotel for a rest. I drew most of my picture of Marilyn Monroe. Then I slept and later we got up and walked to the restaurant we ate in the first night in Paris three or so weeks ago. We et a Canadian couple from Calgary. The woman taught business people how to improve their writing and he did something to do with telling the oil people about nature and ecology. The woman told me her son Alex Mowat was a 1500 and 800m runner and had been 3rd in Canada for his age group and he is 17. Not bad. Then we walked home and went to sleep.