We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


It's hard to argue with the inescapable logic your own voice uses when it calmly lays out the reasons why you shouldn't exist



Richard Lewer

New Zealand, Australia

1970 –

Artist profile

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    graphite on cardboard
    102.0 x 85.0 cm sheet; 104.5 x 85.0 x 3.2 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed verso. Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Dobell Biennial Acquisition fund, Contemporary Collection Benefactors and Friends of New Zealand art 2016
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Richard Lewer

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Richard Lewer

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Richard Lewer is interested in other people’s stories. This drawing is from a group of portraits of the artist and eight of his friends or acquaintances who have experienced depression or anxiety, and have either recovered or learned to manage their condition.

    Lewer approached these drawings with the objectivity of a documentary maker, presenting his subjects as individuals among thousands of fellow sufferers. Each sitter was encouraged to speak about their experiences; their words became the titles of the drawings.

    Lewer values drawing’s immediacy, and considers it unpretentious and uncomplicated. Drawing also plays a pivotal role in his wellbeing; the practice of making a drawing is his way of finding escape, ‘a way of dealing with my own demons … a way of becoming healthy’.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Richard Lewer

See all 25 works