David Fairbairn



Suzanne Archer & David Fairbairn "Bedding Down"
Woodcut print - Artist proof 2000
37 x 37cm
Bidding starts at: $350

Fairbairn was born in Zambia in 1949. He arrived in Australia in 1981where he works as a painter, printmaker and lecturer. He has won many prizes for his abstract expressionist work including the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1983, 1984, 1985 & 1986, the Dobell Drawing Prize (AGNSW) in 1999 and the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2002
David Fairbairn used the word "relief" three times in five minutes when he described the changes in his life in the two years since he became the eighth winner of the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. The $100,000 prize money paid for work on the stone house he and wife, Suzanne Archer, the subject of his painting in the 2002 prize, had been building over the years in the rural community of Wedderburn, south-west of Sydney. It funded a month-long stay in Chang Mai, in northern Thailand. It bought $10,000 worth of art materials. It helped pay for better lighting in his studio, a small investment portfolio, and more importantly, "an almost brand new" truck to cart his paintings to dealers and galleries. "We're now a two-car family," said the artist, grinning.
The win kept on giving, long after the circus folded up and went on its way. His dealer told him that people were spending "five seconds longer" looking at his paintings. His small drawings doubled in price, to about $2000, and his first exhibition after winning the prize was a near sell-out.