Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Dead Reckoning; Artist Bill Leak Finds Subjects to Paint, from beyond the Grave

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Dead Reckoning; Artist Bill Leak Finds Subjects to Paint, from beyond the Grave

Article excerpt

IT seemed like a brilliant idea for a show. Get one of Australia's best-loved and renowned cartoonist, and portrait artist, to paint six well-known Australians.

It's a chance to get an insight into both Bill Leak and his subjects.

Interestingly all six of the people painted are no longer with us and, almost as interestingly, Bill nearly wasn't either.

Just weeks before the series was to go to air, Bill was involved in a freak accident - falling from a verandah and suffering head injuries.

But luckily for us this series only immortalises Pro Hart, June Salter, Bon Scott, Charlie Perkins, Tilly Devine and Boy Charlton and not Bill Leak as well.

And the loss of Bill Leak, known to most of us as one of Australia's leading satirists via his day job as The Australian's daily editorial cartoonist, would have robbed us of another great Australian.

And the chance of another series of this fascinating show.

But while his has a long recovery ahead of him, Bill has proven that his sense of humour is still intact via a message on the ABC website.

"Viewers of Face Painting may have heard that I recently had an accident which put me in hospital for a few weeks," he writes.

"What you may not have heard was that this was just the latest in a series of life-threatening conditions brought on by my addiction to thrill-seeking, through dangerous or "extreme sports".

(He was reportedly feeding birds at the time of the accident!).

"I hope you enjoy Face Painting which chronicles my - happily accident-free - foray into extreme portrait painting," he continues. …

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