Twenty-four year old commercial litigation lawyer and Archibald Prize hopeful Megan Shine, has been inspired by Queensland’s top female justice, Margaret McMurdo AC, in more ways than one.
Shine said it was McMurdo, president of the Queensland Court of Appeal, who inspired her to enter a career in the legal profession. But she also happens to be the inspiration behind her Archibald Prize entry.
“When I was searching for an Archibald Prize subject she just instantly came to mind,” Shine told the ABC of her choice of subject.
“I emailed her and she kindly agreed to sit for me, which is great.”
Shine, who studied art through law school, met McMurdo at her home in Byron Bay to flesh out her ideas for the portrait.
“I think she was flattered to be asked,” Shine said.
“Then it was just a matter of convincing her that my standard of work was up to par.”
Shine said she learnt a lot about who McMurdo is as a person: her struggles and her career.
“I can use that information when I'm standing at the canvas ... to really capture who she is,” she said.
“I think I have to do that justice.
I walked away from that first sitting thinking, ‘I have a big job cut out for me’.”
Using a layering technique, Shine’s painting depicts McMurdo in a natural pose, a stance the pair decided upon after trying numerous poses.
“I said let's stop posing, just go into something that's your natural pose when you're thinking about something important,” Shine said.
Shine’s painting isn’t quite complete but hopes it will be ready for submission in June.
“I know once I've captured the essence of her, I think it will be quite clear to me,” Shine said.
A composite of a painting of Justice Margaret McMurdo in progress.