It really wasn’t until her marriage to Archibald Prize-winning painter Vincent Fantauzzo (who makes a cameo in our shoot) in 2014, and the birth of their son Valentino the following year, that Keddie’s public image started to soften.
“Maybe when I had a baby [it] gave people more access to me, to see me as a warmer person. Is that what we think of women when they have a baby? That they’re nurturing and warm, but if they haven’t got children they aren’t? I find that really offensive.”
When I point out how women are often demonised as career focused or selfish until they “settle down”, she’s emphatic: “I was a happy woman before I was married with children in my life, and had many great challenges. [I enjoyed] success and it didn’t feel selfish to me.”
“Life when I’m not shooting is always about the kids, there’s no doubt. We really just fit our work in and around the family’s needs."
Keddie feels more organised when she’s working and confesses that the wheels come off between projects. “When I’m not shooting there’s just an enormous amount of chaos and so many balls in the air, I seem to be busier than when I’m shooting and really structured. Does that make sense?”
The conversation turns to the myth that women, particularly working mothers, can and should Have It All. Keddie admits “I’m not juggling it all brilliantly, I’m doing my best,” and adds that “no respect [is] given to the complexity of [a woman’s life]”.
“I know people always wanted me to be the ‘Golden Girl’, and maybe even more so when motherhood came along, but I’m not that person,” she says. “It’s just bulls***. We shouldn’t expect women to have it all and manage it all and I certainly don’t want to be portrayed in that way—I think it’s a very negative message to send women.”
"We shouldn’t expect women to have it all and manage it all and I certainly don’t want to be portrayed in that way."
“It’s a shame that [women] should feel afraid of being vulnerable for fear of being judged,” she says. “I think it’s beneficial for people to be accessible and vulnerable and I think it shows great strength.”
For more of our interview with the amazing Asher Keddie, pick up a copy of the February issue on sale now.