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Winner: Packing Room Prize 2014
After years of requesting a portrait sitting with Sir Leslie Colin Patterson KCB AO, a suitable gratuity was transacted through his long-time manager, Barry Humphries. Access was granted.
‘Saville Row tailors say “certain men are moving targets” and Sir Les is no exception,’ says Tim Storrier. ‘During our long sittings, I attempted to keep him engaged with his tipple and cigarettes. To paint such a dynamic, thrusting personality with the sensitivity that a personage of his flamboyance deserves, I drew on my knowledge of historic portraits of great men of destiny. In portraying our revered elder statesman, retired politician, former chairman of the Cheese Board and our most celebrated cultural ambassador, I found a strange resemblance to Sir Leslie’s manager Humphries.
‘There were subtle technical difficulties in arranging the deportment of Sir Les’s trousers. His pretty, young assistant often strutted into the room and I would have to rearrange the lights so his enthusiasm in her presence was not as pronounced. After the final sitting, his parting words to me were: “you are probably not a bad little dauber Timbo but not in the league of the great Pro (Hart)”.’
Born in Sydney in 1949, Storrier studied at the National Art School and now lives and works in Bowral. Renowned for his mysterious Australian landscapes, he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for services to art in 1994. He won the 2012 Archibald Prize with a faceless self-portrait.