Former Edith Cowan University (ECU) leaders have been honoured with portraits painted by four prominent Australian artists.
Artist Nigel Hewitt was commissioned to paint the portrait of former ECU Chancellor, The Honorable Dr RS French AC (Chief Justice of Australia), Marcus Beilby painted the portrait of Emeritus Professor Roy Lourens, Emeritus Professor Douglas Jecks portrait was painted by Linda van der Merwe and ECU’s recently retired Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Kerry Cox had his portrait painted by Brendon Darby.
There is a sense of elation when you see something familiar as if for the first time. Looking is one thing but seeing is something entirely different and for the three Western Australian artists identified as the Fremantle Realists – Marcus Beilby, Ken Wadrop, Ray Beattie – this process of seeing as revelation became their modus operandi.
They were avowedly localist, rejecting the influence of international abstraction that had taken root in art schools in the early 1970s. Their work is the focus of an exhibition currently on display at the Fremantle Arts Centre.
While still students Beilby, Wadrop, Beattie, along with their friend Ashley Jones, began to make paintings that documented their world of urban streets, city cafes and the trappings of suburbia. Inspired by American photorealists like Richard Estes rather than the more fashionable post-painterly abstraction of Morris Louis and Larry Poons they encountered some resistance from their lecturers and fellow students – enough to know they were on to something.
Realism in art probably wouldn’t be the first thing that leaps to mind when thinking about a rebellious movement that goes against the grain, but that was exactly the experience for three young artists working in Fremantle Western Australia back in the 1970s and 80s.
from The Open Catalogue website, by Andre Lipscombe and Ric Spencer | Posted 12 Jun 2014
Ray Beattie, Marcus Beilby and Ken Wadrop shared a studio in High Street in the West End of Fremantle during the late 1970s. Part of a large bourgeoning scene of artist studios and artist run initiatives,