For the next instalment of On Stillness, we feature the work of NAS alumnus Allan Waite.
Seated Woman is deep in reflection. Cigarette in hand and sunlight on her cheek, she gazes over her shoulder at a distant scene. This charming portrait was painted by Allan Waite when he was a student at the National Art School in 1948. The figure is a life model posing at the art school and Waite’s portrait encapsulates the stillness and considered pose of the art students’ muse.
The composition, clothes and chair are evocative of the late 1940s, a period in which society was coming to terms with the aftermath of Second World War. Waite himself was a WWII Veteran who was only able to study art at NAS as a result of the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, an initiative of the Curtin Labor Government. He studied art full-time for free for two and a half years under greats such as Frank Hinder, Herbert Badham and John Godson and went on to have a successful career as an engraver, painter and watercolourist and was co-founder of Australian Artist magazine.
Image: Allan Waite (1924-2010), Seated Woman, 1948, oil on canvas, 33 x 47 cm, National Art School Collection, gift of Allan Waite, 2007 © the estate of the artist