An image of Miss Australia

Martin Sharp

(Australia 21 Jan 1942 – 01 Dec 2013)

Miss Australia

Other titles:
Miss Australia - Painted over original drawing by Cressida Campbell (13) Greenwich
Not on display
Further information

In this painting, Sharp appropriated a drawing made by the teenage daughter of his friend and newspaper columnist Ross Campbell—fourteen-year-old Cressida—painting directly over the original image. Campbell may have taken as her subject the newly crowned Miss Universe of 1972, Kerry Anne Wells, Australia’s first winner of the contest. Now an established Sydney printmaker, Cressida Campbell works in the medium of unique, hand-coloured woodcuts.

With its broad expanse of bright, flat colour, and simple, two-dimensional rendering of an icon of American popular culture—the beauty pageant contestant—Sharp acknowledges both the techniques and themes which characterise works of the pop art movement. Devoid of any erotic overtones which might be expected in the portrayal of a beauty queen, 'Miss Australia' shows Sharp at his satirical best, lampooning not only the notion of the artist as the lone creator, but also the very concept of the beauty contest in the age of feminism and sexual freedom.

Place of origin
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
synthetic polymer paint on hardboard
181.7 x 147.3 cm board
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Purchased 1977
Accession number
© Estate of Martin Sharp. Licensed by Copyright Agency