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At Your Service by Janelle Hatherly

At Your Service

Janelle Hatherly


Barbara Wintringham


Oil on canvas


51 x 77 cm

The artist represents themselves

Sylvia Jones Prize for Women Artists

About the artwork and sitter

Barbara Wintringham had been a volunteer guide for three years when Janelle Hatherly began as Visitor Services Coordinator at Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens in 1994. With her welcoming smile and passion for people and plants, Barbara shared her love of the Gardens with hundreds of Brisbane residents and visitors from all over the world.

Here she is at 90, happy to tell you about the best walks in the gardens for this time of year. After 25 years Barbara retired from guiding in 2016 aged 93 years.

“Barbara and I share a love of lifelong learning and now we’re enthusiastically embarking on an artistic journey. She is my dearest friend and inspiration for how to make the best of growing older.”

About the artist

The majority of Janelle’s professional career has been working as public programs manager in Sydney and Brisbane’s major museums and botanic gardens. Ten years ago, she began working as an artist, and now, portraiture is her passion.

“When I paint faces, I enjoy seeing the sitter’s personality emerge to greet me as I push the oil paint around.​”

Behind the scenes

For her 90th birthday, Barbara was taken to the local Thai restaurant for lunch and one of the family took this delightful photo of her. It captured what I love most about Barbara – her intelligence, youthful exuberance, dignified elegance and joie de vivre. I chuckled because I knew she didn’t like showing her hands; hence they disappear beneath the plate!

When I paint faces, I enjoy seeing the sitter’s personality emerge to greet me as I push the oil paint around. What I struggled with here was the composition, so in between COVID-19 lockdowns I flew to Brisbane, so Barbara and I could visit the same restaurant and set up our own scene reflecting our connection to Brisbane’s botanic gardens.