Fairweather and China
Ian Fairweather is one of the most significant twentieth-century artists to have worked in Australia. After a life of wandering, including time spent in China, Bali and the Philippines, Fairweather settled on Bribie Island, off the coast of Queensland, where he built his own house. In 1962 a leading art critic named him 'our greatest painter' Fairweather is exceptional among modern artists for his experience of Chinese life and culture. He lived and worked in China for extended periods, learnt Chinese and published a book-length translation of the popular Chinese novel The Drunken Buddha (1965). From an early age Fairweather sought alternatives to art based on verisimilitude and single-point perspective. This led to a lifelong engagement with the principles of Chinese art and thought that profoundly shaped his own creative process. Author Claire Roberts draws on letters, interviews and other archival materials to shed new light on Fairweather's artistic practice.