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Australian art

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Life is a Balance. Most of the time no matter what life brings I am able to maintain the balance that is required.  However, there has been times when for whatever reason this life balance becomes impossible and I have entered the 'fog' of anxiety and depression. At the time, it is impossible to see a way out, however, with time and treatment I have been able to come out of the fog and once again enjoy the calm and peace that comes with balancing my life. Rather than feeling shame I feel great pride in coming through this very difficult time and it has given me an inner strength knowing I have faced these challenging times and come out on top. It has also given me an intensified appreciation of the joy of my life



Richard Lewer

New Zealand, Australia

1970 -


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’.




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.


Gift of the artist 2016


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Richard Lewer

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Anne Ryan, Close to home: Dobell Australian drawing biennial 2016, Essay "Richard Lewer", pg. 36-41, Sydney, 2016, 37-38, 39 (colour illus.), 41 (colour illus.), 67, 76.

John Saxby (Editor), Look, 'Dobell Biennial install', pg. 54-55, Sydney, Oct 2016, 55. 'Snapshot' pages.