News

Tommy the dancing man painted for Archibald Prize

DIFFERENT STROKES: Byron Bay artist Liesel Arden with Tommy Franklin and her Archibald Prize entry in the background.
DIFFERENT STROKES: Byron Bay artist Liesel Arden with Tommy Franklin and her Archibald Prize entry in the background. Contributed

A BYRON Bay artist describes working on an Archibald Prize entry focused on eccentric dancing man Tommy Franklin as a life-changing experience.

Painter Liesel Arden's oil on canvas, Portrait of a Dancing Man, fittingly shows the Byron icon adorned in a classy suit and rainbow shoes, busting a move atop a boom box. .

Ms Arden created the portrait after being shaken from a period of frustrating artistic block by Tommy's inspirational personality.

"I met Tommy through an event about a year ago and, like most people, was struck by his energy and ability to radiate positivity," she said.

"At the time I was a struggling, emerging painter swimming in a cold, dark pool of artist's block.

"I knew what I wanted and I also understood my capacity to achieve it, but somehow I felt as though I didn't deserve success in my painting."

Ms Arden said Tommy taught her to "get up on the highest boom box and not give a rats what people thought of me".

"I realised that underneath Tommy's technicolour rainbow is a very shy and complex pot of gold. Gold so priceless and it's spilling over," she said.

"This man not only has overcome fear in everything he achieves in the public eye, but he has learnt to believe in himself and accept himself in all his eccentricity.

"One day he looked me in the eye and said, 'Listen Liesel, you are such an amazing woman'. He said it in such a genuine and intimate way, like only Tommy can, I had to accept it."

Ms Arden said her fateful meeting with Tommy turned her life, and passion, around.

"This portrait is my best work yet and has taken me places I never thought I would go," she said.

"It's a product and a story of the lesson Tommy has taught me, for which I am eternally grateful."

The Archibald Prize winner will be announced on July 18.

Topics:  art



Firies to fight 500-hectare bushfire with fire

Aerial shots of the bushfire south of Evans Head.

Helicopter was called as blaze threatened to break containment lines

50,000 teachers to strike over salary deal

Parents encouraged to find alternative care for students

Killer nurse stole our grandmother and our happiness

MURDERER: Former nurse Megan Jean Haines killed two residents at a Ballina nursing home.

Family of murdered nursing home residents tell of shattered lives

Local Partners

New album will awaken the love at Falls Festival

STAR: Donald McKinley Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is an American actor, writer, comedian, DJ and musician.

It has been described as 'R&B meets Pink Floyd'

Rogue One keeps Star Wars excitement alive

Felicity Jones in a scene from the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

GEORGE Lucas spin-off to hold fans over until Episode VIII.

OPINION: Local gems keep the Dolphins alive

Lismore band Dominiques performing at the 25th NCEIA Dolphin Awards 2016 in Ballina.

Music awards celebrated 25 years

Rescue of North Coast fisherman on TV program tonight

Images from the rescue footage that will be televised as part of Air Rescue tonight. Photo from Channel 7.

North Coast ocean rescue to feature on TV tonight

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly in a scene from Bad Santa 2.

NAUGHTY Santa sequel falls flat.

Coldplay bathes Brisbane fans in sea of colour

Chris Martin, lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Coldplay are in Australia for a five-show tour. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Frontman Chris Martin drapes himself in Australian flag

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!