Artist Profile: David Fairbairn

David Fairbairn

David says "my drawings and paintings are a forensic mapping out of an energy field." David creates architectural portraits using bold layers and angular lines. His densely layered works on paper portray the inherent fragility and transient nature of human existence - the shifting layers become markers of time, capturing every movement of the sitter and every mark made by the artist.

David describes himself as a "hybrid" - that is he combines printmaking, draughtsmanship and painting. His works begin with a completed print which becomes the underlying structure for the layers of paint he uses to build the work. David's intense observations of his sitter imbue his works with a complex understanding of what lies beneath the surface, revealing an uncanny sensibility about the identity of the subject.
One of the sitters in this body of work is Vija Heinrich, who "now in her 70s, immigrated to Australia after World War II and was placed in a quarantined labour camp on arrival' (Prue Gibson, Artist Profile, 2008). David believes older people have more to contribute, and so the lines in his works become topographical maps, tracing the history and experiences of his sitter.

David has won numerous awards including the Kedumba Drawing Award in 2009. He teaches at the National Art School-Sydney, has had over twenty solo exhibitions since 1981 and has been in over seventy group exhibitions. David is extensively represented in both public and private collections.

David Fairbairn Work

Represented By: James Makin Gallery, Melbourne

Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney


Forthcoming Exhibition:TBA