Nigel Milsom’s portrait of barrister Charles Waterstreet has been unveiled as 2015’s Archibald Prize winner.
It wasn’t the first meeting between painter and subject when Waterstreet sat to be painted. The prominent legal identity first met Mr Milsom years ago under less salubrious circumstances, when he offered to represent him on a bank robbery charge.
The two men formed an enduring rapport, with the Newcastle artist stating, “ Charlie restored my faith in the legal system. He’s a very complex person… he isn’t just a law man”.
The artist explained he hoped to capture the complexities of Mr Waterstreet, referring to his writing, photography and dedication to the welfare of others. The painting is, “an attempt to depict him as a giant: part man, part mythical creature, with hands that appear otherworldly.”
The commanding work of the larger than life lawyer who inspired the ABC series Rake is titled Judo house pt 6 (the white bird). It is third time lucky for Mr Milson who had been shortlisted for the prestigious portrait prize twice before.