Pixie O’Harris1938

by Mary Edwards

Pixie O’Harris was an influential children’s writer and illustrator. She belonged to the second generation of Australian fantasy illustrators and quickly became a household name in Australia, alongside fellow illustrators May Gibbs and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite.

Artist Mary Edwards was friends with O’Harris and exhibited her portrait at the Macquarie Galleries in 1940. In a playful reference to O’Harris’s name and body of artistic work, a flutter of transparent pixies and fairies are barely visible behind the sitter.

Mary Edwards was a flamboyant character and produced many colourful portraits throughout her career, however, it is often for her opposition to William Dobell’s 1943 Archibald Prize-winning portrait of Joshua Smith that she is remembered.