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David Marr, 2011

by Nicholas Harding

charcoal on paper
74 x 56 cm
Collection of Nicholas Harding and Lynne Watkins, Sydney

David Marr (b. 1947), writer, journalist and former television presenter, grew up in Sydney, attending Shore and the University of Sydney, from which he graduated with degrees in both arts and law.  A journalist from 1973, he became editor of the National Times in 1981. Ten years later his superb Patrick White: A life won the Age Book of the Year Award and the NSW Premier’s Award for Non Fiction. From 1985, Marr was a reporter for Four Corners, winning two of his three Walkley Awards (he has also received two honorary doctorates). From 2001 to 2005 he hosted the ABC program Media Watch. He has written for various newspapers, and long pieces on Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, George Pell, Bill Shorten and Pauline Hanson for Quarterly Essay. Full attendance is all-but guaranteed at public events at which Marr is speaking.

Harding sketched the handsome humanist in preparation for the second of his three failed attempts at an oil portrait of the man. He swears that one day he’ll capture Marr’s surprisingly elusive likeness in oils. 

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