Sir Edmund Hillary 2005

Painted in 2005, Sir Ed was retired and living at his home in Remuera where I did the initial drawings for this portrait.

For this portrait I wanted a semi formal sitting of Sir Ed with a jacket and open necked shirt - no tie. Again I used the ice axe as a prop with his hand resting on the pick. The pensive expression was a moment which would often occur when I would be talking to Sir Ed about his expeditions. I saw this many times and my intention was to capture it. Sir Ed was a great talker and whilst working on this portrait he shared his adventures in the Ganges and the South Pole with me. Inevitably however, it would always lead back to Nepal, the people, the hardships they endured in such a remote environment and how he hoped to help them. At this time I was going through some of my own personal challenges and we would discuss and compare the realities of life and how one copes. Sir Ed, through these times together, became my mentor but much more importantly than that, he became a friend.

The soft glow in the portrait was to mellow out the total composition as I wanted it to be informal but also reflect the warmth that I felt towards Sir Ed.

I painted this portrait on board to achieve a smoother textured surface. Unlike linen the paint does not absorb as quickly therefore the process takes longer as the paint needs more time to dry between applications. The benefit however is that you have a far more translucent final effect which is the reason why this painting is protected with museum quality glass.

The framing comprises of four frames with the centre piece being the free-floating painting . Each frame section took hours of consultation to create the perfect composition. All solid timber, the framing was designed to complement any existing art collection but was intrinsic in capturing the integrity of the artwork and the man himself.

Signed on the right hand corner by myself and signed off centre by Sir Ed with his favourite quote and standard that he lived by "Aim high there is little virtue in easy victory". It is the only portrait of him in existence that includes his personal philosophy.


(Dimensions: 850mm x 1040mm)