Ivor Hele, War Artist

Acrylic on Canvas

102 x 76cm

Sir Ivor Henry Thomas Hele was Australia’s longest serving war artist. Seeing action in the Middle East and New Guinea during World War Two, and on into the Korean war.

After his service he won the Archibald Prize five times and has completed more commissioned works than any other in the history of Australian art.

l was introduced to lvor’s work by my neighbour “Stu”. A tall, strong looking, ninety something, ex R.A.A.F. Wellington bomber crew member, who used to walk past my house every day. We got to know each other, and I learnt he was very passionate about art and jazz. One day he gave me a book full of lvor’s artworks that l treasure to this day.

My painting is a painting of a painter for a painting prize. lvor cuts a fine figure in this portrait and has a certain “matinee idol” presence.  l’ve tried to be a little impressionistic with my approach to convey a feeling of nostalgia and wear.  lvor’s strong painting style was definitely an inspiration