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Bill Leak
, 1999

by Simon Obarzanek

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 35.5 cm x 28.5 cm, image: 33.8 cm x 27.5 cm)

Bill Leak (1956-2017), artist and caricaturist, trained at the Julian Ashton school in the mid-seventies and began his career painting landscapes. In 1978 he left Australia for travel and study in Europe, working for four years in a studio in Bavaria. He returned to Australia in 1982 and worked as a cartoonist at the Bulletin. In 1985 he commenced a ten-year stint as an illustrator for the Sydney Morning Herald; in 1995 he became Chief Political Illustrator for the Australian. Over the years he has painted many portraits, subjects of which include Sir Donald Bradman, Bob Hawke, Bill Hayden, Gough Whitlam and Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull. Leak has been a finalist in the Archibald 10 times, has won 7 Walkley awards, and 19 Stanley Awards from the Australian Black and White Artists' Society. He hosted a radio show, The Night Club, on ABC Radio National.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2002
Accession number: 2003.208