Andrew Sayers

The death of Andrew Sayers at only 58 has taken from us an artist of great talent and insight into the Australian landscape and the Australian character.

THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC, MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

ANDREW SAYERS

 

The death of Andrew Sayers at only 58 has taken from us an artist of great talent and insight into the Australian landscape and the Australian character.

 

Well known as an arts administrator – particularly as the inaugural director of the National Portrait Gallery and then of the National Museum – he recently became known as an artist in his own right.

 

Taking up full time painting in only 2013, he held a very successful solo exhibition at the Lauraine Diggins Gallery in Melbourne, was a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2014 with an honest and insightful self-portrait, and this year was a finalist in the Archibald Prize with his portrait of Tim Bonyhady.

 

Andrew will be remembered for his work in establishing the National Portrait Gallery, first in Old Parliament House and then in its own building next to the High Court. It was his vision and energy which cemented the National Portrait Gallery as one of our pre-eminent national cultural institutions.

 

He saw the purpose of the National Portrait Gallery as being to further understanding and appreciation of the story of the Australian people – their identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity – through portraiture.

 

We also recognise Andrew’s writings about Australian art, particularly art history and Aboriginal art.

 

It is a great loss to us all that we are now denied the further contributions Andrew would no doubt have gone on to make to Australian life.

 

We extend our condolences to Andrew’s wife Perry and their three daughters.

 

TUESDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2015