23rd Key ~ Zaha Hadid

Under the pseudonym 23rd Key, Jessica Kease began her foray into stencil art in 2005 and has spent most of her time toiling over a table since. With a background in printmaking, graphic design and audio engineering, she is currently studying Architecture and is one of few women in Melbourne working in the street art scene. By creating photo-realistic stencils, taking no short cuts and cutting everything by hand, 23rd Key excels in breaking the rules of the stencil medium and approaching it in a way none of her peers have before. In 2011, she won the Australian Stencil Art Prize and the world Stencil Art Prize in 2014.

"I have always found Zaha to be an inspirational woman. She was a designer and architect and was unapologetically strong in a field that was, and largely still is, dominated by men. I have always tried to display the same strength, being a female stencil artist in a male-dominated space, and also an Architecture student. Zaha has paved the way for women like me in a lot of ways. I cut this stencil of her as a tribute after hearing of her passing earlier this year. I have a style of cutting stencils that no one else uses. I think of it as revolutionary where stencil mural painting is concerned, so I thought this was the most fitting way for me to portray a woman who was most certainly a revolutionary in her field."

23rd Key

Zaha Hadid, 2016

Stencil on paper

100 cm x 100 cm

During the exhibition, 23rd Key will stencil the face of Zaha Hadid onto a wall just a stone’s throw away from Neospace Gallery. Follow us on social media to find out when this is going down!

A big thanks to the Women’s Mural Representation Project (as part of Women’s Art Register)
and City of Yarra for supporting us to bring the exhibition to the streets. 

Helen Oprey ~ The Feminist

Once upon a time women waited. Waited to be allowed to vote, to be noticed by a suitable man, to be proposed to and then kept. Thanks to trailblazing feminists women no longer need to wait. This painting depicts a feminist - empowering women to think and act for themselves, rather than simply being an appendage to a man. 

About the artist:

Helen Oprey is Inspired by her work as a social worker and her role as a mother. A love of colour and experimentation allows her to paint with playful creativity and thoughtful contemplation before her ‘adult mind’ takes over. Often prompted by a particular moment that drives her to put paint to canvas, her work hopes to capture something both beautiful and meaningful. Oprey received a high commendation in this year's Women's Art Prize and is represented by 19 Karen Gallery on the Gold Coast.

Helen Oprey

The Feminist, 2016

Mixed media and acrylic on canvas

100 x 100 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon

Jean-Baptiste Vincent ~ Coco Chanel

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

Iconic French fashion designer and business woman, Coco Chanel, is largely remembered for her creative avant-garde style, liberating women from the constraints of the so-called 'corseted silhouette'. But beyond her talents as a fashion designer and fragrance maker, she was one of the most famous and successful businesswomen of her time owing to her fierce determination, ambition and energy. Depicted here on an original page of the French Stock Exchange News from 1926, it is fitting that as a trailblazing businesswoman she sits against a backdrop symbolic of men's domination over the business world.

About the artist:

Originally from a little town between the Riviera and the Alps in France, Vincent has made Sydney his home for the last eight years. Finding inspiration in travel, culture and people, his artwork is mostly figurative, with an emphasis on capturing people's personalities, souls and expressions through traditional mediums.


Jean-Baptiste Vincent

Coco, 2016

Colour pencil and ink on paper

59.4 x 42 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon

Amber Kingi ~ Alice Walker


Alice Walker is a novelist, poet and activist who lives her life as a proud, educated, independent, empowered, black woman. She is well-known for her Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning novel, The Color Purple, and for her statement that “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Despite being raised under ‘Jim Crow Laws’ and being told that “….black people had no need for education”, Walker gained a full scholarship to college and later co-founded a feminist publishing company, Wild Tree Press, in California.

About the artist:

Amber Kingi is an emerging artist who lives and works in South East Queensland. With qualifications in graphic design and printmaking, she now works predominately in the medium of painting, varying her material between canvas, plywood and framed artwork. Kingi has spent the last year drawing inspiration from tribal beauty and the use of nature as wearable fashion. She currently has a solo exhibition at Cafe Dbar on the Gold Coast.

Amber Kingi

Alice Walker, a Heroic Example of Individualism and Nonconformity, 2016

Acrylic and charcoal on plywood

90 x 60 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon



Kim Leutwyler ~ Briony Mackenzie

Briony Mackenzie is the CEO and a Founding Director of The Global Women’s Project. Prior to her current role, Briony worked in Southern Morocco with a local NGO, at the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), in the public health sector in Melbourne, and as an intern with the United Nations in Timor-Leste. With a Masters in International Development at RMIT University, Briony has dedicated her life to improving the status of women across the world, and is blazing a trail for young leaders, thinkers and women in this country. She leads with a self-reflexive and compassionate curiosity and is a talented singer, musician and poet. As much as this portrait could have been of any number of the powerhouse women who make up The Global Women’s Project, Briony feels humbled and grateful to be included alongside this auspicious lineup of trailblazers.

About the artist:

Born in America, Kim Leutwyler migrated to Australia in 2012 and is now based in Sydney. She works in a variety of media including painting, installation, ceramics, printmedia and drawing, and her current work explores themes of beauty, gender and Queer-identity. She has come to focus on painting as a medium because of its primarily masculine history in the western art canon. Leutwyler's recent accolades include being selected as a finalist in the 2015 Archibald Prize, the 2016 John Copes Portrait Prize and the 2016 Portia Geach Memorial Award, she recently won the Midsumma Visual Arts Guide Cover Competition, and her painting is the hero image for the 2016 LGBTQ Festival in Melbourne, Australia. Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Australia.


Kim Leutwyler

Briony Mackenzie, 2016

Oil on canvas

61 x 46 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon

Matthew Quick ~ Domestic Goddess

There are lots of women in the great art galleries of the world - just not many women artists. In 2012 about 62% of art and design students in the UK were female. But an audit of London galleries found that just 31% presented work by women. In LA and New York galleries the number was 32.3%, while at the Tate only 21% of the works purchased from living artists were made by females. The first woman to be appointed to the role of Keeper of the Royal Academy, Eileen Cooper, says students of both genders emerging from art schools are as strong as each other, but somehow women’s voices are seen as not interesting. It becomes a vicious circle: “Because women artists aren’t as widely collected by the museums they aren’t as widely known or promoted as much.” Incredibly in an age when the issue of gender equality is legislated, it seems the only way for more women to get into galleries is to be featured in the work.

About the artist:

Matthew Quick was featured in BRW as one of Australia’s top 50 artists. In the past few years he’s won, or been a finalist for, 70 national juried art awards. He’s had 14 solo and more than 80 group shows. Quick always painted but managed to distract himself with a few alternative careers – working variously as a lecturer, art-director, photographer and writer. His first novel was short-listed for the Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award. A cancer epiphany in his 30’s prompted a return to making art. A conceptual surrealist, Quick combines flawless technical ability with a wry and inquiring mind to make quirky, often humorous, observations about the world around us.

Matthew Quick

Domestic Goddess, 2015

Archival print, original oil on canvas

66.4 x 58 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon

Lizzie Dennis ~ Peggy Guggenheim

Peggy Guggenheim was an American gallerist and entrepreneur, as well as a tastemaker of culture who significantly shaped modern art. Lizzie Dennis first encountered Peggy while backpacking around Europe in her early 20s. Visiting Peggy's former home on the Grand Canal in Venice she was immediately drawn into Peggy’s world. Drawing on her interest in interiors, Dennis decided to create a piece inspired by Peggy and the art that she loved and lived with.  

About the artist:

Lizzie Dennis is a colour pencil artist, primarily interested in drawing about life as it happens to her and to others. She is interested in relationships between people and their environments and tries to capture these everyday transactions in her drawings. Dennis is currently studying at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Lizzie Dennis

Peggy at Home with Pablo and Alexander, 2016

Colour pencil on paper

40 x 45 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon

Esther Erlich ~ Andreja Pejić

Andreja Pejić is an internationally renowned Australian model, who in May 2014 became the first openly transgender model to be profiled by Vogue. Her transition took place in the public eye, and in late 2014 she staged a successful crowdfunding campaign to create a film about her reassignment surgery and life as a transgender woman. Andreja is indeed a trailblazing woman - not only a successful model, but a woman who, by way of her courage, has also become an educator.

About the artist: 

In 1998 Erlich won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize with a portrait of marathon runner Steve Moneghetti and has been a finalist in the same prize on two other occasions. Erlich won the Archibald People’s Choice Award for her portrait of Bill Leak in 2000 and has been a finalist in the Archibald four times. She has been shortlisted for numerous awards nationally and internationally. In 2011 Erlich participated in “Plain” an international artists touring exhibition in Israel, curated by Guy Morag. In 2015, Erlich’s work was included in “Pain/ting” an exhibition in Berlin curated by Juan Arata. Erlich has had 50 solo exhibitions and has participated in 71 group shows since 1984.

Esther Erlich

Andreja Pejić, 2016

Charcoal and acrylic on paper

76 x 52 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon.

Sally Paxton ~ Edna Walling


Edna Walling (1895 - 1973) was and remains one of Australia’s most influential and highly regarded landscape designers. She was also Australia’s first female property developer, a conservation activist, author and photographer. Edna was the creator of Bickleigh Vale in Mooroolbark, a cottage village on the outskirts of Melbourne, now heritage listed. Universally regarded as preeminent in her field, an until-then male domain, she designed gardens for Dame Nellie Melba, Dame Elizabeth Murdoch, and many other prominent Australians. She was a regular contributor to Australia Home Beautiful magazine, The Australian Women’s Mirror, The Australian Home Builder and was a regular on ABC radio talks. A quarter of Edna’s designs are now held in the State Library of Victoria, and others in private collections in other states. Edna Walling was mentor to many woman and men, all of whom are indebted to her in their careers.

About the artist:

Paxton's work explores the nexus of reality and her imagined world. Intricate and delicate forms intertwine, mimicking the ways in which reality and imagination blend. Raised on a farming property on the Murray River in Mildura, Victoria, where she roamed across 42 acres of fruit and bush, she developed a fascination with nature that has come to dominate her work. Represented by 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, Paxton's works are also held in private collections across Australia.  

Sally Paxton

Edna Walling, 2016

Acrylic and pigment ink pen on canvas

83 x 103 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon


Amaya Iturri ~ Nina Simone

Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and one of the leading voices of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, imbuing her lyrics and performances with civil rights messages. Her life was troubled, particularly in her later years, by poverty and a bipolar diagnosis. In painting her, we do not just recognise a true trailblazing woman, we look at the faces of so many women who deal with these issues on a daily basis.

About the artist:

Born in San Sebastian, Spain, Iturri has found recognition in many national and international competitions, including as a finalist in the 2009 Arthur Guy Memorial Prize and a semifinalist in the 2013 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. With artworks held in private and public spaces across Europe and Australia, Iturri's work is a metaphysical exploration of the complicated kaleidoscope of the human being. With an emphasis on multiple forms and colour, she aims to find a balance between figurative and abstraction with recognition that both are attributes of nature - fractals that are indivisible parts of the whole. 

Amaya Iturri

Nina Simone, 2016

Acrylic on canvas

50 x 50 cm

Reserve Price: Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Portrait of a Trailblazing Woman Coming Soon.

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 Portrait of a Trailblazing Woman Coming Soon.

Portrait of a Trailblazing Woman Coming Soon.

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 Portrait of a Trailblazing Woman Coming Soon.

Portrait of a Trailblazing Woman Coming Soon.