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Australian art

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Anak Bayan



Ian Fairweather

Scotland, Australia

29 Sep 1891 - 20 May 1974


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.

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Other Title

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


Artist information

Ian Fairweather

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 19 publications


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

Tony Costa, Look, 'The art that made me - Archibald winner, Tony Costa on Kevin Connor, Sidney Nolan, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Ian Fairweather', pg. 23-25, Sydney, Sep 2019-Oct 2019, 25 (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, Sydney, Jun 2009, 10-11 (colour illus.). book review

Ewen McDonald, AGNSW 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, Sydney, 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

John Saxby (Editor), Look, 'Art that made me: Ildiko Kovacs', pg. 14-15, Sydney, Apr 2016, 15 (colour illus.).

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

Tony Twigg, Art Monthly Australia, 'Landfall: Ian Fairweather's landing at Oesosole, Roti', pg. 64-65, Canberra, 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.

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

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