Filippa Buttitta is a full time professional artist living in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Lewisham, where she owns and operates a small private gallery (Twiverton Gallery) and studio.
Buttitta’s desire to paint began from an early age and she primarily taught herself to paint prior to pursuing several years majoring in painting and studying it’s theories at university.
Her portraiture has transformed from painting intimate portraits of Italian immigrants from old photographs, painting Italian-Australians who surrounded her life during the 70s, 80s and 90s to currently portraying pre-eminent Australians who have had a major impact on Australia’s iconic, social, cultural and political character. Her portrayal of both ordinary and well known Australians is a need to record a time, place and perspective in Australian socio-cultural, iconic and political history.
Since 1990 Buttitta has exhibited regularly both in Sydney and abroad. Buttitta is a regular Archibald Prize entrant and in 2015, her portrait of the renowned artist Judy Cassab AO CBE was selected as a finalist in the 2015 Archibald Prize. Shortly after returning from the 2015 Archibald Prize touring exhibition, the same portrait of Cassab -‘Portrait of an Artist’ was selected as a finalist in the 2016 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture. Her first Archibald Prize entry, a portrait of the then Premier of NSW Morris Iemma entitled ‘Looking Forward’ was selected for exhibition in the 2007 Archibald Salon des Refusés (SH Ervin Gallery, The Rocks, Sydney) and was the subject feature of a Sydney Morning Herald article written by John McDonald. In 2008 she painted a portrait of the Arch Bishop of the Anglican church Dr Peter Jensen entitled ‘Reflections of the father’ and produced a portrait of Vittoria coffee’s founder Les Schirato. She has been selected as a finalist for the Portia Geach Memorial Award on numerous occasions with portraits of Dawn Fraser AO (‘Turbulent Waters’ 2009), Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (‘Eyeing a Greener Future’ 2010), sports commentator Debbie Spillane (‘The Sporting Spillane’ 2011), ABC’s journalist Emma Alberici (Emma Alberici Corresponding from London with Circling Homing Pigeons’ 2012) and portraits of her own daughter Paloma twice entitled (Lost Child Somewhere Near Mount Carcalgong, NSW) in 2014 and (Lost Child Sleeping) in 2015. Further portraits of her daughter as “The Lost Child in the Bush” have been selected as finalists in the 2016 and the 2017 Hunters Hill Art Prize (Highly Commended).
Buttitta’s portrait of innovative knee surgeon Dr Leo Pinczewski entitled ‘Operating on My Knee’ was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Mosman Art Prize. Her portrait of Marco Belgiorno-Zegna AM entitled ‘Marco & the Ideal City’ was selected as a semi-finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Art Prize in 2013. Her portrait of her own daughter ‘Paloma’ entitled ‘Lost Child with Bike’ was selected in the 2013 Fisher Ghost Art Prize (Drawing-Printmaking Section). Her portrait of renowned knee surgeon Dr Leo Pinczewski was selected for the 2014 Hunters Hill Prize. Buttitta’s portrait of her daughter Paloma was selected as a finalist 3 times. Firstly in the 2014 Portia Geach Memorial Award, then 2015 in the Hunters Hill Art Prize and then the Waverley Art Prize. Buttitta’s painting of Fighting Father Dave Smith was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2015 The Doug Moran National Prize for Portraiture.
In late 2010, Buttitta was accepted as an official exhibiting member of Portrait Artists Australia and has exhibited work in their 2011 exhibition ‘The Face of Australia’, Parliament House, Sydney, The Artists’ Book Launch, Arthouse Hotel, 2012, their Innovators exhibition at Federal Parliament House, Canberra, 2012 and their ‘Multicultural Australia’ in 2013.
Buttitta has been featured on numerous occasions on SBS radio and print media including newspapers such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Glebe, La Fiama and Il Globo.
Buttitta’s academic qualifications include an MFA (C.O.F.A); an MA (C.O.F.A); a BVA (S.C.A); Dip Ed (Sydney University) and an Associate Diploma in Expressive and Performing Arts (with Distinction), (U.N.S.W). Further details on Buttitta’s work and her Twiverton Gallery can be found at Portrait Artists Australia and Buttitta Art