Greg Weight ‘Portraits Project’ – Manly Art Gallery & Museum

In Artist August 19, 2020

Above image: Greg Weight in his home in Clovelly. Photograph by Dean Sewell

In celebration of Manly Art Gallery & Museum’s 90th anniversary, a series of twenty commissioned portraits by celebrated Australian photographer Greg Weight takes us into the private worlds of key creative contemporary practitioners living and working on the Northern Beaches. Through the series of twenty-two portrait photographs of artists in their studios, Greg Weight has created a powerful record of the importance of this region’s artists to the Australian arts industry.

Greg Weight’s photographs are part of the long tradition of studio photographs revealing the ‘artist at work’ surrounded by the ‘tools of their trade’. The artists selected for inclusion in this portfolio represented the diversity of visual arts disciplines (ceramicists, glass artists, painters, photographers, printmakers, public artists, jewellers and multi-disciplinary artists). They are all professional artists, working full-time and mostly represented by commercial galleries and have exhibited at MAG&M over the past decade or so.

Greg Weight is Northern Beaches alumni whose original series of artists’ portraits was exhibited at MAG&M in 1995. Since then, over one hundred of them have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery and at least one hundred others are scattered throughout regional galleries in NSW, the State and the National Libraries. In addition, his Australian Artists book was published in 2004.

The gallery’s 90th anniversary also includes a simultaneous exhibition of 15 self portraits by acclaimed Sydney artists who have figured prominently in its history, including Salvatore Zofrea and Bruce Goold.

Portraits Project’ will be exhibited at Manly Art Gallery & Museum from August 7 – October 18 2020.

To read the Sydney Morning Herald article on the exhibition, ‘Making pictures of the picture makers’ by Steve Meacham click here.

An article on Greg and the portraits that defined his career also features in this month’s Vogue, click here to read the interview.


Hear Greg Weight ‘in conversation’ with the curator about the challenges of photographic portraiture and the stories behind the images. Sunday 23 August, 2 – 3pm, Manly Art Gallery & Museum. Numbers strictly limited. Bookings essential.


Image: Artists Louise Whelan and John Ogden at their home. Photograph by Greg Weight

The Most Interesting People in the World

“The artists in this exhibition all uncompromisingly explore an obsession with their work. When I am given the privilege of entering an artist’s studio, I believe I am walking on sacred ground. Artists are complex individuals. Sometimes they are torn between allowing me into their private world and showing me something of their magic, or wanting to say, ‘Don’t worry about me, just look at what I do’. They are sorcerers, pulling ideas out of mid air and constructing unique responses.

My objective is to pay homage to the artists and their work. These special people work largely in isolation and always have. I find them the most interesting people in the world. What is an artist and what drives a person to become one? This question has always been central to my portrait photography. I try to achieve a synergy between the artist and myself, a collaboration of sorts.

I was born in Manly in 1946, grew up in Dee Why and went to Manly Boys High School in the early 1960s. It has been a privilege to return to my home ground. My first exhibition of portraits of Australian Artists was exhibited at Manly Art Gallery & Museum in 1995 and ultimately led to the publication of my book, Australian Artists, nine years later.”

– Greg Weight, 2020

Greg is currently working on his upcoming exhibition of new paintographs (hand-painted originals of his landscape photographs) that will open 8 September 2020. For all enquiries, please email

To view available artworks by Greg Weight, visit our online gallery stockroom.