TOUCHING TRIBUTE: Local artist Angela Parr with her artistic tribute to the late Raz Burtonwood. The work is on show at Ballina Arts and Craft Centre Inc's ninth annual Grace Cruice Memorial Exhibition at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina.
TOUCHING TRIBUTE: Local artist Angela Parr with her artistic tribute to the late Raz Burtonwood. The work is on show at Ballina Arts and Craft Centre Inc's ninth annual Grace Cruice Memorial Exhibition at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina. Barry Magnay

Tribute to Raz: Artist wanted to immortalise Ballina 'icon'

KNOCKROW artist Angela Parr felt the late Raz Burtonwood was a "Ballina icon who needed to be remembered".

So she created an artistic tribute to the former Ballina High School teacher and long-term surf lifesaver, who went missing off the coast of Ballina in February. He was aged 69.

Her work, which is based on photographs of Raz, is currently on exhibition at Ballina's Northern Rivers Community Gallery as part of Ballina Arts and Crafts Inc's ninth annual Grace Cruice Memorial Exhibition, named after the founder of the art group.

Mrs Parr said she and husband Murray "knew Raz quite well".

"He had some beautiful 'Raz-isms' that I needed to include in the portrait, like his salute, his blue car and his dog," she said.

"He was a unique character of Ballina.

"It would have somehow been a shame not to immortalise him.

"Raz needed to be honoured."

The portrait is for sale, and Mrs Parr pledged all profits from the sale would be donated to the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club, where Raz was a member.

She said she would like to see the portrait go to the surf club or to a restaurant - "somewhere where more than one person can see it".

She said because she knew Raz, that made the artistic process more difficult.

"It makes you more keen to get it right," she said.

"You want to have the memory correct of that person - to inject the larrikinism into the portrait."

Mrs Parr has recently ventured into portraiture.

Her work, as part of the BACCI exhibition, will be on show for two months in the Northern Rivers Community Gallery, 44 Cherry St, Ballina.



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