Catherine McGuiness

Lucky

The subject of Catherine McGuiness’s portrait is Kylie Kwong, an Australian–Cantonese chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter.

‘I first met Kylie at some Christmas markets in South Eveleigh [in Sydney] in 2022, through Studio A,’ says McGuiness, a two-time Archibald finalist who paints at the studio. ‘Kylie came to the fair and she bought one of my artworks. I really liked meeting her because she’s a lovely person.

‘Kylie has a restaurant called Lucky Kwong. She’s always cooking food in the kitchen! I met Kylie in her restaurant to do some sketches of her. The sun was bright on the windowsill,’ says McGuiness.

‘Kylie showed me some special objects in her restaurant that you can see in my painting – the singing bowl, the bird on the windowsill, and the two red-and-gold urns.

‘I’ve painted Kylie wearing her favourite necklace and her round glasses. She always wears black. The word “Lucky” is written lots and lots to refer to Kylie’s special restaurant and in memory of her son, after whom the restaurant is named.’

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