Hugo at home (Hugo Weaving), 2011
oil on canvas (frame: 142.5 x 203.0 cm, support: 138.0 x 199.0 cm)
Hugo Weaving (b. 1960) spent his childhood in England, Australia and South Africa before returning to Australia in 1976. Graduating from NIDA five years later, he made his television debut in the 1984 series Bodyline. After appearing in Bangkok Hilton (1989) he won the AFI best actor award for Proof. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Babe helped him to establish an international reputation in the mid-1990s. Between 1999 and 2003 he starred as Agent Smith in The Matrix and its two blockbuster sequels. He played the elf-king Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2001-2003 before appearing in the radically different films Little Fish (filmed in Sydney) and V for Vendetta (filmed in the UK and Europe) in 2005. Weaving first appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company in 1982, and has since worked on more than twenty of its productions. In 2006 he and Cate Blanchett acted in the company’s Hedda Gabler in New York. He won a Helen Hayes award for Uncle Vanya in Washington DC in 2012; in Sydney that year he played the seducer in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He starred in the Sydney Theatre Company’s Waiting for Godot in 2013, Macbeth in 2014 and Endgame in 2015; his recent film and television productions include Hacksaw Ridge (2016), Jasper Jones and Seven Types of Ambiguity (2017).
Weaving and Harding have known each other for many years. Harding has emphasised his famous friend’s love of domesticity in this portrait, which includes his tea in a hand-made cup and glimpses of a painting by his wife, a sculpture by his son and his daughter’s ukulele.
Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2012
Accession number: 2012.22
More about the artist and subject
until Sunday 26 November 2017
Nicholas Harding: 28 portraits features paintings of Robert Drewe, John Bell and Hugo Weaving alongside gorgeously coloured recent oil portraits, delicate gouaches and bold ink and charcoal drawings.Entry is free.
Nicholas Harding: 28 Portraits
Sarah Engledow looks at three decades of Nicholas Harding's portraiture.
Over the years the young Nicholas Harding got his hands on various mice and guinea pigs, but they served mainly to illustrate the concept of mortality.
Magazine article, Portrait 50
Waiting for Godot
'Artist and actors, advancing spasmodically, find their rhythm together' writes Sarah Engledow.
Magazine article, Portrait 44
Nicholas Harding describes his enduring fascination with drawing and painting people.
Permanent collection catalogue
On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.