I have recently written a brief background to Tim Storrier’s 2012 Archibald Prize winning portrait and thought it would be useful to post it here as I often get contacted by people wanting to know more about a particular artist and their work…

The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch) by Tim Storrier:

The title of this work references a painting by the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. Storrier worked on the portrait over 2011-12 completing it just prior to its entry in the 2012 Archibald prize.

The work is part of an important series within the artist’s oeuvre, the ‘In absentia’ paintings.

Rather than being traditional portraits this series explores the recognition or memory of a person through the portrayal of their clothing and accumulated (but often incidental) possessions. The resulting images evoke a simultaneous sense of presence and loss.

Smudge, the artist’s faithful companion was a late addition to the portrait. Storrier was initially reluctant to put the dog in as he was concerned it might be seen as some sort of trick. But he became convinced that her presence would add balance to the painting: she is looking in the opposite direction to the main figure and her gaze is directed at a paper sketch of the artist borne in the wind.

Smudge initially belonged to a tutor of Storrier’s children and lived at the local school. Sadly she ate ‘Scooter’ the guinea pig and was sent to the pound. The artist’s children were distraught that ”Midgey was sent to the pound because she ate Scooter” and implored him to rescue her. A phone call was placed to Margaret, the wonderful and kind lady who ‘rebirths’ dogs at the Bathurst Pound. Not one to miss an opportunity to place one of her renegade charges she was over straight away with Midgey on an ‘approval only’ basis. The dog stayed.