IN FOCUS: Jasper Thompson getting his portrait taken by Robert Fenton.
IN FOCUS: Jasper Thompson getting his portrait taken by Robert Fenton. Claudia Jambor

Locals to get their 15cm of fame

FORMER Coffs Harbour local and artist Robert Fenton has visited the region to begin work on his latest major artwork.

The multi-award winning artist, now based in Melbourne, has taken photographs of 100 locals from various locations across the Coffs Coast, including his old schoolyard of Orara High, for his Happy Kleptomaniac Collection.

Influenced by his collection of porcelain figurines, Robert wanted to collect a series of portraits from his home town of Coffs Harbour to re-establish his connection with the region.

Truus Meulenbroeks sharing in a laugh post-portrait shot with artist Robert Fenton.
Truus Meulenbroeks sharing in a laugh post-portrait shot with artist Robert Fenton.

Each participant was asked to write down their name, age, their connection to Coffs Harbour and what they do or would like to collect.

"It's worked out nicely that I've gotten this huge mix of young and old and different races, it should be interesting," he said.

"I get them to write down these things because I'm going to reconnect with them when I start drawing them."

The portraits will be drawn using pastel on paper and board finished with an epoxy resin.

Robert said he aimed to complete three to four drawings a day, ensuring each portrait was created with meticulous detail and precision.

"It will be nice to see where they end up and what kind of connection I have with them when they're (the drawings) finished and what connection they (the portrait sitters) have with the actual artwork when they see it," Robert said.

The Happy Kleptomaniac Collection will be exhibited at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery on October 2, Robert's first exhibition in Coffs Harbour for 25 years.



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