Skip to content


An image of Anak Bayan by Ian Fairweather

Ian Fairweather

(Scotland, Australia 29 Sep 1891 – 20 May 1974)

Anak Bayan
Other titles:
Anak Bayan - Triptych
Media category
Materials used
gouache on cardboard on hardboard

96.8 x 227.3 cm board; 109.0 x 241.3 x 9.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.r., red gouache "Anak BAYAN IF ["IF" monogram]". Not dated.
Bequest of Lucy Swanton 1982
Accession number
© Ian Fairweather/DACS. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

Painted while Ian Fairweather was living on Bribie Island, Queensland, Anak Bayan recalls the artist’s time in Manila, where he lived for a period during the 1930s. The painting has been viewed as a celebration of birth ('anak bayan' means 'son of the country' in the Tagalog language), yet public birth celebrations are not customary in the Philippines.

The well-known street, Anak Bayan, in the Bukid district was most probably the artist's inspiration for painting. According to Fairweather scholar Murray Bail, Anak Bayan is the artist's 'summation of the crowded everyday in Manila' and 'a streetscape of the mind', encapsulating Fairweather's memories of the Filipino people.

Bibliography (17)

Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, 'Anak Bayan', pg. 141-157, Sydney, 2009, 141, 142, 144-145 (colour illus.), 254. plate no. 125; 140

Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, Sydney, 1981, 134, 138-139 (colour illus.), 140, 242. plate no. 68; 136

Candice Bruce, Brought to Light: Australian Art 1850–1965 from the Queensland Art Gallery collection, '"A Grand Display of Linear Ecstasies". Ian Fairweather Kite Flying', pg. 270-275, Brisbane, 1998, 270.

Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian 20th Century Art', pg. 71-89, Sydney, 1984, 73 (colour illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Mosaic and figure', pg. 213-214, Sydney, 2000, 228, 229 (colour illus., detail), 230 (colour illus.).

Julie Ewington, Look, 'Ian Fairweather by Murray Bail: Reflections of the artist and writer', pg.10-13, Newtown, Jun 2009, 10-11 (colour illus.). book review

Ewen McDonald, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 68 (colour illus.).

Drusilla Modjeska, Fairweather, 'Painting mother', pg. 44-53, Australia, 1994, 45-46, 48, 50-51, 53, 102 (colour illus.), 142. plate no. 30

Barry Pearce, Look, 'Fairweather's last supper - its journey into our collection', pg. 12-13, Newtown, Jun 2011, 12.

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 32.

Ursula Prunster, Aspects of Australian art, Sydney, 2000, (illus.). card no. 11: John Olsen 'Spanish encounter' 1960

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Members events', pg. 47-49, Newtown, Nov 2008, 49 (colour illus.).

Tony Twigg, Art Monthly Australia, 'Landfall: Ian Fairweather's landing at Oesosole, Roti', pg. 64-65, Acton, Oct 2011, 64 (colour illus.), 65.

Tony Twigg, Asian art news, 'The wandering artist', pg. 52-57, Hong Kong, Jan 2009-Feb 2009, 52-53 (colour illus.), 56, 57 (colour illus., detail).

Donald Williams, Looking At Australia, Australia, 1997, 11, 23, 37, 111.

Project 41 - the mosaic, the grid, Sydney, 1983, 2. 8

East of the Sun, Sydney, 1997. List of works

Exhibition history (6)

Ian Fairweather (1957), Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 20 Nov 1957–02 Dec 1957

An exhibition of paintings and drawings from the collection of Lucy Swanton (1960), War Memorial Art Gallery, University of Sydney, Sydney, 02 May 1960–13 May 1960

Project 41: The mosaic -The grid (1983), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Mar 1983–24 Apr 1983

Fairweather (1994):

East of the Sun (1997), The Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, 01 Jun 1997–17 Nov 1997

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000