///Doug Moran National Portrait Prize Semi Finalist

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize Semi Finalist

Communicating pain…

Absolutely gobsmacked at this achievement, and incredibly confused at the same time. Who would have thought a horrifying life changing event could bring so much reward. Nevertheless, I’m going with it and am stoked to be considered for semi finalist. Self Portrait (art and chronic pain) will be heading up to Sydney next week for the next round confirming finalists for the National prize.

View all the semi finalists here, read more about the prize here and view the portrait and more of my work here.

About the portrait

A self portrait of a self portrait. A marionette is the only way I thought to express my living with chronic pain. I lost my independence and yet the debilitating qualities couldn’t be seen on my exterior. No one could grasp my torment by looking at me, in fact I looked ‘well’. I lost my control in life and the pain directed my days for many years… for some days it still does.

This painting of me as a marionette, I believe, is a fitting self portrait of me, perhaps even for anyone else with any kind of invisible pain.

Currently this is how I see myself but I remain hopeful that this image will change one day.

By |2017-12-11T15:18:22+11:00October 5th, 2013|About, Creativity|18 Comments


  1. Melissa Williams-Brown October 14, 2013 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Congrats to you! I hope you make it to the finals! I also live with chronic pain from a degenerative spinal condition….many people just don’t understand. I’m also waiting to hear if my photographic contribution made it to the finals….maybe I’ll see you at the awards ceremony later this month! Fingers crossed for us both. Melissa Williams–Brown

    • Soula Mantalvanos October 14, 2013 at 9:22 am - Reply

      My goodness Melissa! Don’t like hearing about your pain but congratulations on coping and being a semi finalist for your portrait also. Such a waiting game, yes, fingers and toes crossed!!! Would be lovely to meet at the awards. As much as I hate pain, it certainly brings some interesting moments… just have a look at this one. Wild isn’t it? x

      • Melissa Brown October 14, 2013 at 10:40 am - Reply

        It is wild…I am beginning to think that pain + talent = great things. I have an artist friend in the US that struggles with chronic pain and his work is amazing….I guess if there is such a thing as a bright side to the pain, then the works produced would be it. :-/

        • Soula Mantalvanos October 14, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

          Share the link to your friend’s work if you have one. (I think I may have to have a gallery page soon…).

  2. Tanya Nelson October 11, 2013 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Congratulations! I hope you win. This painting moved me so much, I can stop looking at it. With a life of debilitating pain and the almost as bad legal process, I have often felt just like this. Will you be doing some prints to sell?

    • Soula Mantalvanos October 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      Tanya that’s such a beautiful comment but I’m sad to hear you understand. That damn legal process is such an added mountain we don’t need. I’m not sure if I’ll create prints but I am working on a small book that will include this image. I’ll keep you posted! Thanks again for the encouragement, understanding and empathy. It helps me cope also and I feel I’m helping in someway when others can get so much out of my creativity. Take care of yourself.

      • Melissa October 14, 2013 at 7:36 am - Reply

        How did you go, Soula? Have you heard yet?

        • Soula Mantalvanos October 14, 2013 at 9:23 am - Reply

          No news yet. Final deliveries happening today so not really expecting to hear for the next few days. More anxt, pain levels please stay low!

          • Melissa October 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

            Oh my gosh…I figured they were behind on things….yes, pain levels please stay low! x

  3. Kathryn Malic October 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Congratulations to you Soula! I love your self portrait, wishing a final win!

    • Soula Mantalvanos October 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Thank you Kathryn, she’s on her way to Sydney today. Fingers crossed she makes it as a finalist.

  4. Bam's Kitchen October 5, 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Soula!! I see you more of a Pinocchio that believed and became a “real live boy” and one day if you believe, you will be “free of pain”. Keep thinking positive. Take Care, Bobbi

    • Soula Mantalvanos October 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Thank you Bobbi, yes, those strings must be cut one day soon. Oh wouldn’t that be nice? Hope you’re well.x

  5. Jacinta October 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    congratulations! So many wonderful portraits, including yours of course. I don’t know how they will decide. I am glad I am not a judge. Good luck!!!

    • Soula Mantalvanos October 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Incredible aren’t they, I’m in such admirable company. Thank you!

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