In 2013, Nicola Green painted the first ever life-size portrait of Australian supermodel, Elle Macpherson. The portrait was revealed in a special private view at the Australian High Commission, in the presence of the Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency, The Honourable Mike Rann and the model herself on the 19 November 2013.
The Australian High Commissioner, Mike Rann said: “Elle Macpherson has forged an incredible career both in the UK and Australia and is one of Australia’s most recognizable faces. She is a global icon in the world of clothing and business. Elle is an Australian success story and an inspiration to many young Australians”. Speaking about the portrait and the painting process, Elle Macpherson said: “I have never done anything quite like this before. It was an amazing and positive experience. The portrait is not just about me, but about the power of the female form”.
Green says of her task to portray the supermodel: “I knew very early on that I would make a life-size full-length portrait, to reflect not just Elle’s height, but also her unique physical presence. This is a portrait of a woman who has had that remarkable silhouette since she strode onto the public stage as a teenager, who retains a lovely innocence in her face, but who has matured and changed greatly within. Elle and I wanted this portrait to show her as I see her, not as the public knows her from thousands of glossy photos.”
Green began by taking informal photos of Elle to capture her dynamic personality and roles as: mother, supermodel and businesswoman. Between photography sessions, Green drew and continued her research. Green’s ultimate plan was not to focus on facial expression, but to use posture and gesture to reveal the essence of what it is to be a strong woman.
Green’s oil portrait of Elle influenced the creation of four life-size silhouette prints, entitled The Body. Each of the two-colour prints allowed Green to explore the essence of female energy and power.