Image above: Close-up detail of Portrait Magazine featuring Peter Wegner’s drawings of Marg Mossop (2015) and Hilda Heley (2015)
In the latest issue of Portait Magazine, Penelope Grist discovers the rich narratives in Peter Wegner’s series of centenarian portraits.
Peter Wegner has been painting and drawing centenarian subjects for nearly a decade. This poignant series explores how well we age and what it means to live a productive and meaningful life.
Earlier this year, Wegner’s painted portrait of the now 101-year-old Guy Warren won the prestigious Archibald Prize.
“Wegner’s ongoing centenarians series numbers – approximately – almost 100 portraits. The project grew out of his visits to his Aunt Rita, who lived to 104; they would have a cup of tea, and he would draw her. When Wegner gets in contact with a centenarian, he visits for two or three hours, armed with a cake to share, off-white paper, and ten sharpened blue-grey Derwent pencils: ‘I don’t want to waste time sharpening pencils; I law them out and get through all ten every time … They have a cup of tea and chat the whole time … I interview, using drawing as a medium.”
Issue 65 (Autumn/Winter 2021) of Portrait Magazine is available for purchase through select retailers, click here for further information. This article will be available to read in full online later this year.
Click here to view Peter Wegner’s recent exhibition at Australian Galleries which featured 35 drawings of centenarians.