Northern Rivers Portrait Prize

I am entering the Northern Rivers Portrait Prize again this year. Last year I entered a portrait I did of Alex Cost Chretien, a young friend of mine from Nashua. It got accepted into the show which was thrilling and got a mention by the ABC art news which was also amazing as there were quite a few pieces and only a few got specifically written into the piece.

This year I am doing a portrait of another friend, Mandy Nolan. Years ago I took Mandy’s stand up comedy course which was awesome and then she opened my art show Urchins, Rascals and Whippersnappers this past December.

Here is the piece I did of her and her five children and also the artist statement that I sent along with my entry. I hope I make it in!


Mandy Nolan is a local comedian and writer. She is also the epitome of a Byronshire mother. Since I first met her, Mandy seems to have had a child in hand, one on the boob and one in the belly.


Mandy takes the role of motherhood as seriously as anyone with a great sense of humour can. Her comedic work pokes fun at the ups and downs of raising kids, being a mum, having a career and trying to juggle the whole lot. Who else would write a newspaper piece called “I Am Awesome”, declaring her online bio was “one husband and two kids behind.” Or that “she’s bred herself into the corner, so she stays in the Byron Shire where she keeps torturing locals with the same ten gags.” Self deprecation and quick wit are like eating and breathing for Mandy.


She is the cook, the nurse and the ringmaster of her motley crew, leading her little vegemites to adulthood with a healthy dose of humour and a belly full of laughs.

Motherhood is Serious Business is about life as a circus, the nostalgia of childhood, and the fact that life is good.


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