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Margaret Ackland

Artist Statement

Shiny objects threaten to tip and tumble as they reflect the intricate patterns behind them as well as revealing the distorted interiors in which they were painted multiple distorted self-portraits.

This body of work grew from the pandemic lockdowns of the last few years when I returned to still life, making compositions with a few favourite objects. They developed into staged compositions where I played with unstable juxtapositions of  shiny things, pushing them to their tipping point and reflecting feelings about the chaos and uncertainty around us.


A four times Archibald finalist, Margaret Ackland is renowned for her expressive and vibrant use of colour.

She has held over 30 solo exhibitions since 1985 and is represented in a range of national and private collections including Artbank, the Mitchell Library, the Holmes à Court Collection and Deakin University. Her work was on the front cover of the 2023 July edition of Art Almanac and she has been featured in Italian Vogue and on ABC TV’s ‘Compass’ series.

In 2012 she was included in Not the Way Home - 13 Artists ‘Paint the Desert’, at the National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney.

In 2016 she had a major regional solo exhibition ‘The Watercolour News’, a large body of work reflecting on our daily newspapers at the Gippsland Regional Gallery.

Ackland was commissioned to create a major work for the new Intercontinental Hotel in Doha Bangladesh in 2018. She won the Portia Geach Portrait Prize in 1988 and more recently was the Portia Geach People’s Choice award winner in 2021.