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Andrew Gaze, 2018

by George Fetting

Andrew Gaze, 2018 by George Fetting
Andrew Gaze, 2018 by George Fetting

Andrew Gaze (b. 1965), basketballer and coach, was born into a prominent basketballing family. His father Lindsay coached the Melbourne Tigers for 35 years, as well as the Australian men’s team at four successive Olympic Games, from 1972 to 1984; he was also general manager of the Victorian Basketball Association. Andrew made his professional debut with the Tigers at age eighteen in 1983, and was selected to represent Australia at the Los Angeles Olympics the following year. A five-time Olympian, he captained the Boomers from 1994 through to the Sydney 2000 Games, where he was the nation’s flag-bearer. Gaze was the National Basketball League’s leading scorer, for a remarkable sixteen seasons, from 1986 to 2001; holds the NBL record for the average points per game in a season (44.1); was selected in the All-NBL First Team every year from 1986 to 2000; and was named the NBL’s most valuable player seven times. As well as playing American college basketball, he played in the Italian and Greek leagues, and in the NBA, where he played with the Washington Bullets in 1994 and the San Antonio Spurs in 1999 (the year the Spurs won their first NBA championship). In 1991, Gaze was named amongst the 50 greatest players by FIBA (the International Basketball Federation). Retiring from international basketball in 2000, he kept playing for the Melbourne Tigers until 2005. He was appointed coach of the Sydney Kings in 2016. Gaze was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2014, he was Australian Father of the Year.

Andrew Gaze
Video: 6 minutes 26 seconds

George Fetting

‘It’s hard to believe someone so utterly humble as Andrew Gaze has achieved so much in his lifetime: as an elite sportsman, father, mentor and coach. Our portrait collaboration was produced literally ‘on court’ at Qudos Bank Arena during a torrid training session with the Sydney Kings whom Andrew coaches. It was quite a noisy shoot! Simplicity was my approach with a very minimalist setup – a background and a series of lights to highlight and sculpt areas of Andrew’s face. I prefer darker environments to emphasise and draw the eye to the face. The desaturated monochrome image suits my style as it’s close to black and white in feel. Andrew stands at 6ft 7inches. I preferred to concentrate on his face to elicit emotion. My aim was to capture an expression that asks more questions than it answers.’

George Fetting (b. 1964) is a Sydney-based photographer specialising in portrait, travel and editorial work. Fetting has described people – and specifically portraiture – as his ‘first love’. His portrait subjects include Australian and international actors, musicians and media personalities. Early in his career, after study at art college, Fetting undertook a cadetship at the Brisbane Courier Mail and gained experience as a feature photographer for leading Australian and international newspapers. He has since twice been voted Australian Travel Photographer of the Year. In 2007 his portrait of Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali won the Olive Cotton Award. He was a finalist in the 2007 and 2008 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prizes and the 2008 National Photographic Portrait Prize; he was the guest judge of the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2017. Fetting’s portraits of Lee Lin Chin, George Gittoes, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, David Gulpilil, Tony Bilson and John Waters are in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Commissioned with funds provided by Trent Birkett 2018