“My work reflects close observation of the subject and an intention to reveal it’s true character, not simply the superficial likeness. Ultimately I want my artwork and my actions to be viewed for what I create them to say -we are individuals, as is each flower and animal, and we all deserve to live to express that uniqueness.”

~ Nafisa


Nafisa has exhibited extensively overseas and in Australia and her most recent awards have included the Packers Prize for the Archibald 2010, the  Black Swan prize for portraiture 2008, after having won the Gold Medal for Painting at the Florence Biennale from a field of 800 artists from 60 nations in Dec 2007.

She has been represented as a finalist in every major art prize including the Dobell Prize for Drawing, the Blake Prize, The Kedumba Drawing Award, the Portia Geach Portrait Award, amongst others.

Nafisa graduated with a Masters of Fine Art from the National Art School in Sydney 2008. She holds the position of Fellow at the Royal Art Society of NSW. She continues to exhibit in Europe, the USA and England and gives select tutorials in portraiture and life painting, from her studio in Sydney and in workshops abroad.

In 2002, upon returning from NY having won a certificate of Merit at the International Portrait Competition for her Portrait of Salvatore Zofrea (which later won the Mosman Art Prize, PC), she founded Portrait Artists Australia, which gives professional portrait artists a platform and the public a database to source commissions from.

naf and romeo

With her love of wildlife, Nafisa founded Animal Works, a charity that funds wildlife conservation projects, also voluntary run of which her art contributes significantly to the monies raised.

Her work is held in private and corporate collections locally and overseas.



2005 -2007                  Masters of Fine Art , Full Time - National Art School, Sydney

2003/2004                   National Art School workshops. Drawing, bronze casting

2003                            AGNSW – Diploma Lecture series- Great Art in the Making

2002                           AGNSW – Diploma Lecture series on historical aspect of art and technical components.

2001                            National Art School – workshops with Elizabeth Cummings.+ David Fairbairn

2000                           Scholarship year completed with a Diploma of fine art – JAAS.

1999                            Full time studies at JAAS after winning the Arthur Boyd scholarship sponsored by Toyota Lexus.

2000                          Part time tuition at JAAS.

1987 – 1997               Worked in Sydney with regular travel overseas including Italy and England.

1985 – 1986               Fine arts at the University of Sydney.(discontinued)

                                   Paddington Art School – life drawing and painting with Stephen Wosley Gordon.

1981- 1984                 Bachelor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales.(discontinued)


2013                           Group Show by invitation at Gagliardi Gallery, Chelsea, London.

                                   Chianciano Art Award, Tuscany

                                   Portrait Artists Australia NSW Parliament House exhibition

                                   Redhill Gallery Spring Show. By invitation

2012                           Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize

                                   Chianciano Biennale, Tuscany

                                   Mirvac Art Award, QLD

                                   Portia Geach memorial award for portraiture

2011                           Year of Friendship Exhibition-Seoul, Korea

                                   Hunters Hill Art Prize

                                   Portrait Artists Australia Federal Parliament House exhibition

2010                          Archibald Prize for Portraiture- Art Gallery of New South Wales

                                   Kedumba Drawing Award-

                                   Black Swan, City of Perth Portrait Prize

                                   “Little Treasures” Galleria De’ Marchi – Bologna , Italy

                                   2010- Masters of Fine Art Graduates Show- NAS Gallery

2009                          Lexus Mortimer Art Prize

                                   Kedumba Drawing Award.

                                   CRMI- Jeans 4 Genes Art Exhibition

                                   Black Swan  City of Perth Portrait Prize

2008                          Lexus Mortimer Art Prize

                                   Off The Wall –The  Australian- Art Melbourne

                                   Hunters Hill Art Prize

                                   CMRI Jeans 4 Genes exhibition

                                   Black Swan Prize for Portraiture

                                   Hills Grammar Art Prize

                                   House of Phillips Drawing Prize

 2007                          Blake Art Prize

                                   Mortimer Lexus Art Prize

                                   Florence Biennale 2007

                                   Hutchings Art Prize- works on paper

                                   Extinction Denied- Humane Society International

                                   Whyalla Art Prize

                                   Willoughby Art Prize

                                   Northbridge Art Prize

2006                          Blake Art Prize

                                   Hills Grammar Art Prize

                                   Willoughby Art Prize

                                   Mortimer Lexus Portrait Prize

                                   Hunters Hill Art Prize

                                   MCQ International Art Prize

                                   Mosman Art Prize

                                   Jeans for Genes Exhibition and Art Auction-

2005                          Florence Biennale 2005, Italy

                                   Portia Geach Memorial Prize for Portraiture

                                   The Dobell  Prize, AGNSW

                                   The Rocks Art Prize Jeans 4 Genes Campaign- Exhibition and Auction

                                   Hunters Hill Art Prize

                                   Extinction Denied-Humane Society International

                                   The Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize

                                   MCQ Art Prize - The Macquarie International Portrait Artists Australia Exhibition in Washington DC (Australian  Embassy)                                                                                                                                                                                          

2004                          Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive Prize.

                                   Fleming Muntz Works on Paper-Albury

                                   Extinction Denied -Humane Society International exhibition

                                   Portia Geach Memorial Prize for Portraiture

                                  ‘Lies’ –curated themed exhibition, New York

                                  Cromwells Art Prize, international travelling exhibition to Washington, New York

                                   Hills Grammar Art Prize- Finalist

                                  Royal Art Society –“ Drawings Only.”

                                  Royal Art Society -  Spring Exhibition

                                  Royal Art Society – Christmas Exhibition.

                                  Jeans 4Genes ‘Music Legends’exhibition & auction-Mick Jaggers jeans for Children’s Medical Research Institute

 2003                        Archibald Salon des Refuses-Portrait of Maria Venuti AM .                                                                                  

                                  Hills Grammar Art Prize- Finalist

                                  Cairns Art Prize-Finalist-Portraiture

                                  Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award-Finalist

                                  Mosman Art Prize

                                  Spring Exhibition-Royal Art Society of NSW

                                  Willoughby Art Prize

                                  Selected for ‘Jeans for Genes’ campaign, to paint on Gwyneth Paltrow’s jeans for fundraising dinner and auction.

                                   Hazelhurst Art Prize- works on paper

2002                          Autumn exhibition – Royal Art Society of NSW.

                                   Hills Grammar Art Prize -Finalist

                                   Contemporary Portrait – American Society of Portrait Artists.

                                   Spring exhibition – Royal Art Society of NSW.

                                  Selected for ‘Jeans for Genes’ campaign, theme of ‘Generations’ for the fundraising dinner and auction.

                                  Ryde art show.

                                  Shirley Hannen Portrait Prize.

                                  North Sydney Art Prize.

                                  Albury Art Prize.

                                  Willoughby City Art Prize.

                                  Drummoyne Art Show

                                  Hunters Hill Art Prize

                                  Blackheath Rhodendryn Arts Festival

                                  Julian Ashton Teachers and Scholars Exhibition

                                  Mosman Art Society Show

2001                          North Sydney Art Prize.

                                  Blackheath Rhodendryn Art Festival.

                                  Bezel Art Exhibition – Mary Place Gallery.

                                  Julian Ashton Teachers and Scholars exhibition.

                                  Selected for ‘Jeans for Genes’ campaign, to paint Janet Jackson’s Jeans for the fundraising dinner and auction.

                                  Mosman Art Society Show – Mosman art gallery.

                                  Portia Geach memorial award – S.H. Ervin gallery.

                                  Ryde art show.

                                  Spring exhibition – Royal Art Society of NSW.

                                  Kings Art Prize – Kings School, Parramatta.

                                  ‘The Definitive Horse Show’ – North Sydney Fine Art gallery.

                                  Drummoyne art show.

                                  Ryde art society exhibition

                                  Hunters Hill art prize.

                                  Hills Grammar Art Prize-Finalist.

                                  Autumn exhibition – Royal Art Society of NSW

2000                        Royal Art Society – Selected for hanging, Shirley Greathead Award.

                                 Royal Easter Show .

                                 Selected for ‘Jeans for Genes’ campaign, to paint Wayne Gardner’s Jeans for the fundraising dinner and auction.

                                 John Balmain Portrait prize –Highly Commended.

                                ‘Young Masters’, North Sydney fine art.

                                Hunters Hill Art Prize.

                                ‘Medal of Distinction’, Royal Art Society.

                                Blackheath Rhodendryn Art Festival.

                                Ryde art society exhibition.

                                Drummoyne art show.

                                Hunters Hill art prize.

                                ‘From the mountains to the Harbour’ exhibition North Sydney Fine Art.

                                ‘In and out of the Garden’ exhibition North Sydney Fine Art.

                                Christmas Exhibition – Royal Art Society of NSW.

                                ‘Bezel’ exhibition in conjunction with Sherman Galleries.

                                Julian Ashton Teachers and Scholars exhibition.

1999                        Royal Easter Show.-selected for drawings & still life sections

                                Julian Ashton Teachers and Scholars exhibition.

                                 Hunter Hill Art Prize.

                                 ‘Body Language’ three person show at PCL Exhibitionists.

                                 ‘Medal of Distinction’, Royal Art Society.

                                 Jeans 4 Genes – Museum of Contemporary Art.

                                 Royal Art Society ‘Spring’ exhibition.

                                 Royal Art Society  ‘Nudes’ exhibition.

                                 Rocks Art Prize.

                                 Blacktown art show.

                                 Ryde art show.

                                 Parramatta art show.

                                 North Sydney Fine art, ‘All on a Summers Day’.

                                 Glebe art show.

                                 Alice Bale Travelling Scholarship. Coburg, Vic.

1998                        Julian Ashton Teachers and Scholars exhibition

                                 Opening Exhibition - Millennium Art Gallery.

                                 Waverly Art Show.

                                ‘Flowers’ exhibition - Royal Art Society of NSW.

                                 ‘Spring Exhibition’ - Royal Art Society of NSW.

                                 Glebe art show.

                                 The Rocks Art Show.

                                 Mosman Art Prize.

                                ‘Medal of Distinction’, Royal Art Society.

1997                        Mosman Art Prize.

                               Waverly Art Prize Ryde Art show.Liverpool art sh0wsFairfield art show




2010                Packing Room Prize – Archibald prize for Portraiture -AGNSW           

                        Finalist –Archibald Prize

                        Finalist Black Swan City of Perth Portrait Prize

2009              Finalist- Black Swan, City of Perth Portrait Prize

                       Finalist -Kedumba Drawing Award- by Invitation

                       Finalist – Lexus Mortimer Prize for Portraiture       

2008              Finalist – House of Phillips Fine Art Prize

                       Finalist –Hills Grammar Art Prize   

                       Winner- City of Perth, Black Swan Portrait Prize

                       Finalist – David Wilson Portrait Prize

                       Highly Commended and Finalist- Lexus Mortimer Art Prize

2007              Gold Medal- First Prize for Painting Florence Biennale

                       Finalist Whyalla Art Prize

                       Highly Commended  Mortimer Lexus Prize for Portraiture

                       Finalist Hutchins  Art Prize

                       Finalist Willoughby Art Prize

                       Finalist Hills Grammar Art Prize

                       First Prize Northbridge Art Prize- Open Section

                       Finalist  Blake Prize for Religious Art

2006              Finalist MCQ prize

                        Finalist Mosman Art Prize

                        Highly Commended   Mortimer Lexus Prize for Portraiture

                        Finalist Willoughby Art Prize

                        Finalist Hills Grammar Art Prize

                        First Prize- Northbridge Art Prize – 3D Section

                        Finalist Blake Art Prize

2005               Finalist- MCQ Art prize

                        Bronze Medal- Florence Biennale- installation/mixed media. 2005

                        Finalist- Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize

                        Finalist- Dobell Drawing Prize 2005, AGNSW

                        Finalist- Portia Geach Memorial Prize for Portraiture

2004               Winner – (acquired) Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive Prize.

                        Finalist-Hills Grammar Art Prize(by invitation)

                        Finalist-Portia Geach Memorial prize for portraiture

                        Finalist- Fleming Muntz Art Prize- Works on paper

                        Finalist Cromwell Art Prize – Portrait of Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki

                        Highly Commended-Medal of Distinction-Spring Exhib. R.A.S. of NSW.

 2003              Finalist- Salon des Refuses- 2003 with portrait of Maria Venuti AM                                                                                                                                                                   

                        Winner – First Prize still life/portrait – Blackheath Arts Festival.

                        Highly Commended – Drawing - Blackheath Arts Festival.

                        Finalist- Hills Grammar Art Prize (by invitation)

                        Highly Commended-Cairns Art Prize- Portraiture

                        Second Prize- Shirley Hannan Portraiture Award- Drawing

                        Highly Commended- Spring Exhibition Royal Art Society

                        Winner- ‘People’s Choice’ - Mosman Art Prize

                        Finalist- Hazelhurst Art Award- works on paper

2002               Finalist – Hills Grammar Art Prize (by invitation)

                        Finalist – American Society of Portrait Artists ‘Contemporary Portrait’ receiving Certificate of Merit with portrait of Salvatore Zofrea.

                        Finalist – Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize.

                        Finalist – Albury Art Prize.- works on paper

                        First Prize – Willoughby Art Prize Drawing

                        First Prize – Drawing- Blackheath Arts Festival

                        Second Prize- Portraiture- Blackheath Arts Festival

2001               ‘Best of Show’ – Barry Morris Memorial Prize – Blackheath Arts  2001  Festival

                        Finalist – Portia Geach Memorial Award – ‘Game of Kings.’

                        First Prize- Portraiture Blackheath Arts festival.

                        Highly Commended – drawing prize – Blackheath arts festival.

                        Highly Commended –‘Animal Magic’ – Macquarie University.

                        Highly Commended – drawing – Ryde Art Show.

                        Finalist – Kings Art prize.

2000                ‘Peoples choice award’ Blackheath Arts Festival & Awarded First Prize for Portraiture.

                         Runner up of twelve finalists and ‘Peoples Choice’ award – Hills Grammar Art Prize (by invitation).

                         Highly Commended and two Commended. - Drummoyne Art Prize.

                         Highly Commended - John Balmain Portrait Prize.

1999                 Highly Commended -drawing - Royal Easter Show.

                         Highly Commended - Medal of Distinction - Royal Art Society.

                         Highly Commended - Glebe Art Prize.

                         Highly Commended - Ryde Art Prize – Drawing.

                         Highly Commended - Parramatta Art Show – Still Life.

                         Highly Commended - Blacktown Art Show – Contemporary section.

1999                Arthur Boyd Scholarship – sponsored by Toyota Lexus for full-time attendance to Julian Ashton Art School..

                        Accepted as exhibiting member of the Royal Art Society 





2002                Nov 11-30 ‘A LINGERING DOUBT’ – The Arthouse Hotel, Sydney

                         Dec 4 – 22 ‘OBSERVATIONS’ – Vista Blue Gallery, Sydney

2004                Nov 9- 20  ‘FLORA and FAUNACATION’ – Depot Gallery,

2006               Oct 9 – 31  ‘WILD THINGS’ – Sara Roney Gallery, Sydney

2008               Oct 13-  Nov  ‘REGENERATION’ – Artarmon Galleries, Sydney

2009               Mar 21- Apr 4  ‘Elephant Walk, Elephant Talk’ – Frances Keevil Gallery, Sydney.

2009               Oct 19 th- Nov 12 ‘Elephant Extravaganza’- Art House Hotel Gallery, Sydney

2012                March 30  Passion- Richard Martin Gallery, Sydney



                        Willoughby Council Arts Assistance to fund the exhibition-‘Flora & Faunacation’ in Sydney 2004

                        Vermont Arts Centre, artist-in-residence program – selected for 1 month attendance , 2008