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2 male artists and one female artist alongside painted portraits of themselves. The portraits of the male artists feature blue and brown colours. The portrait of the female artist features green, yellow and pink.

In-Conversation: Emily Crockford + Digby Webster + Neil Tomkins


When & Where


Artists Emily Crockford, Digby Webster and Neil Tomkins were all selected as finalists for this year’s Archibald Prize.

Emily – who lives with disability – submitted a self-portrait of her with her late father John. Digby – who also lives with disability – teamed up with Neil to submit portraits of each other as a combined work.

Emily- who recently received the 2020 Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award for an Emerging Artist – is supported by Studio A, a visual arts company in Sydney which provides professional development for artists living with intellectual disability.

Studio A’s CEO/Artistic Director Gabrielle Mordy will join Emily, Digby and Neil as the artists discuss the development of their creativity and careers, what it’s like being an artist with disability in Australia’s visual art sector and their involvement with this year’s Archibald Prize.

The moderator for this FREE online Q&A event will be artist David Capra.

This is the second edition of our In-Conversation series for 2020. Our In-Conversation program profiles arts practitioners with disability. This edition of In-Conversation is being presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of NSW.


The session will be pre-recorded but the artists will be available to chat live online with event attendees throughout the session.

This event will be delivered using the Zoom online conferencing platform (Zoom links are provided following booking)

About Zoom

  • Zoom is an easy to use, reliable and FREE cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops and telephones.
  • If you haven’t used Zoom before you can find out more here:
  • After signing up for this event, you’ll receive an email from us inviting you to a Zoom webinar.
  • On the day of the event, all you have to do is click on the relevant link in the invitation, follow the prompts and you’ll be part of the event.


This event will have closed captioning, Auslan interpretation and audio description. Please advise any access requirements, including Auslan interpretation, during the registration process.


A man is standing next to a portrait of 2 men in a gallery

Digby Webster | Artist

Digby Webster is a Sydney-based visual artist with a career spanning 10 years. Digby works across a range of disciplines. He is a founding member of the Ruckus Ensemble, a contemporary performance group who create large scale productions and has also been a production designer and performer on award-winning short films ‘‘The Interviewer’ and ‘Heartbreak and Beauty’ with Bus Stop Films. In 2014 Digby was the recipient for artist in residence at Bundanon and his work was awarded a ‘Winning Work’ and selected by BiG-i Art Project 2016 in Osaka, to be included with the travelling exhibition throughout Japan and Hong Kong. Digby has exhibited in solo shows and group shows including Tin Sheds Gallery, Riverside Theatre Parramatta, DNA projects Chippendale ‘Two Sydney Painters’ with Marc Etheridge and at the Opera House as part of Accessible Arts’ AART.BOXX 2007. He has been invited to exhibit his work at the Leichhardt Council library three years running and is a contributor to the Leichhardt Open Studio Trail. Notably, Digby was commissioned by Taste Media to supply a series of 6 paintings reflecting the South Australian landscape. These images were incorporated into the winning logo for the Special Olympics to be held in Adelaide in 2018. He is currently a member of Front Up, a disability led Arts and Cultural program initiated by Ability Options, resulting in several of his works being exhibited at Barangaroo as part of the ‘I Am Still Here’ emerging artists exhibition. Artbank and Australia Council for the Arts have included his works in their collection. Arterie, an international award wining art program based at RPAHospital have invited Digby to be Artist in Residence in2018. 10 works exhibited as part of the Vivid Ideas Exchange ‘We’re Very Serious-taking artists with disability seriously’ an MCA event. Digby approaches art making as a part of his everyday life. He works in the mediums of oil pastels and acrylics. His work reflects strong evocative colours together with an expressive visual language of his own.

A woman wearing a colourful top and glasses is stadding next to a colourful painting featuirng a woman in blue dress standing in a garden.

Emily Crockford | Artist

Emily has a long exhibition history and is well known for her major public art commissions: a 39 metre mural for Westpac’s Concord offices, two works for the City of Sydney’s Creative Hoardings Project (Midnight Zoo, 2019 &Sydney Opera House at Night, 2017), a 175 square metre collaborative mural for the University of Technology Sydney (Bird Life Jungle Disco, 2019) and a major hoarding for Lendlease at Barangaroo titled Garden Pop Bird Bop (2020). Recently she unveiledOysters Eating Rainbows(2020), an 81.5 metre mural commissioned by Cultural Capital for the new WestConnex M5 motorway. Emily is a finalist in the 2020 Archibald Prize with Self Portrait with Daddy in the Daisies watching the field of Planes. The portrait depicts her late father John Crockford who passed away in January. In 2019 Emily’s painting of artist Rosie Deacon, Funky Jungle Rosie In Her Pom Pom Zoo, was selected for the Salon des Refusés exhibition at S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney. In 2018 she was invited to exhibit in Cement Fondu’s inaugural exhibition Suburbia,and in 2017 she was curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham into a group show at Artbank titled Good Neighbours. Emily has been an artist-in-residence at Cicada Press, UNSW Art & Design and Koskela, and has collaborated with a number of established designers including Corban & Blair and One Another. Her works are held in various collections including Artbank and she has a long running collaboration with Sydney artist Rosie Deacon.

A man is standing in front of a painting. He is wearing a dark suit and hat and has long hair and a beard.

Neil Tomkins | Artist

Trough ten years of oil painting, Neil continues to explore a contemporary approach to mark making and this classic medium, including an extensive collection of various commissioned projects and murals. Neil has also been involved in various artists residencies and studio programs. These include location such as Peru, South America, Mexico & Tasmania. Neil’s practice embraces action and moment, in the sense that his act of doing or seeing, expressed fragmentally through his artistic output, creates a metaphoric space for the viewer to codify their own meaning from what is in front of them. He presents multiple times of day and emotions in the one work, which creates a yin and yang like approach to the light and shadow. The works are landscapes and they are human in perspective so therefore present the nature of the finite within the infinite. This approach means that the multi-facet nature of existence is physical first and then this honesty gives breath for the relational to form. It is within this vessel the audience may find meaning, and converse with the omnipresent of the universe.

A woman is standing in a studio space. She is wearing a floral dress and her light brown hair is pulled back.

Gabrielle Mordy | CEO/Artistic Director | Studio A

Gabrielle is fascinated by the ways individuals and communities use art to express their relationship with the world. She is inspired by the power of art to translate experiences and stories across cultures. Sometimes with grace, sometimes with ferocity but always with a touch of magic. A passionate advocate for the rights of all people to access the arts, Gabrielle leads the Studio A enterprise and has over ten years’ experience working with artists with disability. Gabrielle holds a Masters of Fine Arts & a First Class Honours degree in Anthropology. In 2014 Mordy was awarded a Churchill Scholarship and an Australia Council Career Development Award to undertake international research into the supported studio sector. In 2011 she received a Curatorial Mentorship Initiative award from the National Association for the Visual Arts. Gabrielle is also a practicing artist and writer working with a range of media including textiles, printmaking, drawing and sculpture.

A man is holding a dog. the Man is wearing a white shirt. He has short dark hair and is wearing dark rimmed glasses. They are in front of a yellow wall with repeating pictures of purple dogs.

David Capra | Artist

Performance artist David Capra is known for his collaborations with dachshund Teena. David and Teena have a long-standing history of creating socially engaged projects that make the world feel a little less lonely. In 2016 they appeared on the 9 Network’s Today Show to promote her own fragrance, Eau de Wet Dogge. In 2015 Teena’s Bathtime was launched at the MCA’s Jackson Bella Room, where visitors related to Teena’s experiences around anxiety (Teena doesn’t quite enjoy bathtime). In 2018, David and Teena performed The long and short of it: Life lessons from art-dog Teena to an audience of 5000 at TEDx Sydney and answered the question ‘What makes a dachshund the perfect muse?’ in an article for the Guardian newspaper. Most recently, David and Teena collaborated with Kaldor Projects, producing a series of Teena Takes on… educational videos and the Kaldor Studio project at the Art Gallery NSW.


Please email or call (02) 9251 6499 if you have any questions.

Presented by:

  • Accessible Arts
  • Art Gallery of NSW

Supported by:

  • City of Sydney

Accessible Arts    art gallery of nsw logo

city of sydney logo


Image: Artists Neil Tomkins and Digby Webster alongside Ernest Brothers (2020), their combined portraits of each other + artist Emily Crockford alongside a detail of her artwork Self-portrait with Daddy in the daisies, watching the field of planes (2020).