A Man for All Seasons
About the artwork
Lesley has been fortunate to meet with the subject a few times since he came to Australia. The first being in Sydney when they met for coffee.
Lesley interviewed Tim on the way back to Sydney from Cairns where he had located himself when the Covid-19 crisis flared up and the school was on holiday.
Lesley has tried to capture the essence of the man showing his down to earth nature depicted in his checked shirt, his wry smile and his exceptionally knowledgeable and compassionate eyes.
About the sitter
Timothy Fairfax AC is an Australian philanthropist, pastoralist and the member of the Fairfax family. He founded Tim Fairfax Family Foundation which supports the work of a diverse range of organisations to create opportunities in rural, regional and remote communities of Queensland and the Northern Territory. He has had a life long interest in the arts, and has served in a variety of roles within a large number of organisations. In 2013 he was named a Queensland Great.
About the artist
Lesley Wengembo is a 23 year old artist originally from Papua New Guinea, currently in his second year studying a Bachelor of Fine Art at the National Art School in Sydney. In recent years his work has focussed on hyper-realistic portraiture, mainly capturing indigenous faces dressed up in their traditional attire. He says: “as an indigenous artist, I try to capture an essence of what is still alive today that is expressed through their faces before it dies out”.
“I endeavour to capture the essence and soul of my subjects in a truly lifelike fashion.”
Behind the scenes
Lesley has a deep admiration for the work of Vincent Fantauzzo and as such is a devotee of the photorealist style and has transformed some of the images he has seen into magnificent portraits of tribal leaders, in traditional dress, of Papua New Guinea.
His attention to the minute details of the subject are his trademark from the smallest skin blemish through to the delicate individual feathers that are used in traditional head dresses.
Lesley is learning a great deal at the National Arts School in Sydney and this knowledge will assist him in stretching his mind to other aspects of portraiture and paining in general.
Lesley has submitted a work for the 2020 Archibald Prize.