Southern River artist a finalist for one of Australia’s most prestigious art awards

Daniel Heyman’s self-portrait is a finalist for the Black Swan prize
Daniel Heyman’s self-portrait is a finalist for the Black Swan prize

ONE WEEK out from the Black Swan Prize submission deadline, Daniel Heyman was wondering what sort of portrait he would submit.

All of a sudden, it came to him: why not try his hand at a self-portrait?

Now, the Southern River resident is a finalist for one of Australia’s most prestigious art awards.

Heyman said his portrait, Perception of the Self, was fuelled by a desire to show how the individual views themself differently to how the everyday person might.

“It really had to do with allowing myself to get lost in the process and finding my own perception of my own self,” he said.

“I do think it really has to do with, as the title suggests, a distorted perception of how you see yourself, as most people see themselves in a way which is quite different to how everybody else might see them.

“It was just an honest viewing of how I was at that particular time.”

The art teacher said the painting drew on his lifelong love of caricatures.

“It’s something I’ve done ever since I was at high school, making fun of fellow students and teachers and drawing my brother at times, making fun of those around me,” he said.

“It’s fun to be able to represent the world in such a twisted and distorted way.”

Heyman said he observed himself in front of a mirror while painting and actually found it slightly easier than expected to paint himself.

“I think over the years you end up doing a lot of self-portraits if you are a portrait artist,” he said.

“People aren’t necessarily willing to sit there for hours on end for you to draw them, it is quite a demanding thing to ask someone to do.”

Heyman admitted he was incredibly humbled to be a finalist, especially given this was the first time he had submitted an artwork for a major prize.

The winners of the Black Swan Prize are announced in November.

MORE: Warwick man (24) charged over series of alleged break-ins and assault of off-duty police officer in Girrawheen

MORE: Alfred Krakouer charged over string of Champion Lakes incidents

MORE: Body of missing man John Ria Poe found in Bertram