An intimate portrait of the life and work of one of Australia's greatest painters. When Ian Fairweather died in 1974, Australia not only lost an extraordinary artist but one of its greatest eccentrics. However, the reclusive, driven artist left behind a wonderful legacy - a body of marvellous paintings that today are highly collectible and hang on the walls of galleries around the world. Scottish-born Fairweather was abandoned as a child, setting him on a lifelong path of self-sought solitude. After active service in World War I, contrary to his conservative family's wishes, he chose art as his vocation. When he arrived in China, the first stop in a lifetime of wandering, he found a culture that would have an overriding and lifelong influence on his art. At 60 years of age, Fairweather experienced a turning point in his work. He built himself a flimsy raft and set sail from Darwin on a foolhardy, death-defying trip across the Timor Sea. For 16 days he drifted in a semi-conscious and hallucinogenic state. It is said that before that journey he was an extremely talented artist, but afterwards he became an extraordinary one. For the last 20 years of his life Fairweather stopped travelling and made himself a home on Bribie Island, off the coast of Queensland. There he lived a hermit-like existence in a primitive grass hut devoid of any creature comforts. And it was there that he created his greatest work. Nominated for an AFI Award in 2008
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