On Display: QAG, Gallery 11
Ian Fairweather was born in Scotland in 1891. His father encouraged him to join the British Army and, in June 1914, just two months after he was commissioned, Fairweather was captured by the German Army and sent to a prison camp. There, he studied Japanese, sketched, and illustrated the prisoners’ magazine. After the war, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London.
Leaving England in 1927, Fairweather travelled continually for nearly two decades, journeying to Canada, China, Indonesia, South America, the Philippines, Japan and Australia. In 1952, he attempted to cross the sea from Darwin to Timor on a raft, which turned into a perilous, 16-day solo journey that ended in Roti, Indonesia, from where he was deported to England.
When he returned to Australia in 1953, Fairweather retreated from society. He built a rudimentary hut on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, and went on to produce his greatest works there until his death in 1974.