Seabrook resident in finalist painting

Published 2:00pm 17 October 2023

Seabrook resident in finalist painting
Words by Nadia Chapman

Seabrook aged care resident Zita Joy Poynting has come face to face with her own image after visiting the Brisbane Portrait Prize Exhibition at the Powerhouse.

The painting titled Tea, Cake and Family History was created by her daughter, Donna Hawkins, who was one of the 2023 finalists.

The portrait depicts Zita with some of her favourite things, alongside family photos, which tell the story of her life.

Donna was inspired by her mother, explaining that she always wanted to tell her life story through photographs of their beloved family.

“She’s the most kind and compassionate person I know. I have endeavoured to tell her life’s story with the photographs of beloved family and symbols of all she holds dear,” Donna says.

“Whenever we went to mum’s house, her walls were covered in family photos.

"The family photos were always talked about, and family history was always talked about – that’s why it was so important to include in the portrait.”

Donna’s love for art started at a young age and she attributes her talent to her mum’s encouragement growing up.

“Mum’s always given me art books for my birthdays. When I was a teenager, I didn’t have pop icons as posters on my wall – I had paintings by Van Gogh and Picasso and they were my heroes,” Donna says.

“I think Donna got her artistic talents from relatives on both sides of the family; my husband’s family and my mother’s side," Zita says.

"There was a great aunt, and she was a wonderful artist – her work was hanging in Parliament House in Tasmania in Hobart. She painted the governor and his wife."

Donna and Zita were thrilled to attend the finalist’s exhibition opening night on Thursday, September 28 to see the portrait on show.

“I am pleased for Donna more than anything that at last she got her name out there – it’s been a long, long time from when she was a child painting,” Zita says.

“I am her biggest fan and biggest critic, but I really enjoyed being at the event. I kept telling her ‘You’re famous!”

Find out more about Donna and her finalist art piece here.

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