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Description - Bill: The Life of William Dobell by Scott Bevan

In post-war Australia, William Dobell was a household name. But the most famous artist in the land was a broken man. His Archibald Prize-winning portrait of Joshua Smith was the subject of a sensational legal case, challenging not only Dobell's right to the prize, but the very idea of art itself. Dobell won the legal battle but lost so much else. His health was shattered, and his desire to paint was wiped out. He had to get away. Just north of Sydney, Wangi Wangi is far removed from big city life. Dobell moved to Wangi to escape fame, but in that beguiling little place he found community and friendship, and he rediscovered the passion to paint - and the joy of life. Through years of research and interviews with Dobell's friends and long-time locals, acclaimed author and former Wangi resident Scott Bevan discovered how the village protected the artist, cared and posed for him, drank and partied with him. Wangi loved him as one of their own. To the world, he was Sir William Dobell, famous artist, but to Wangi, he was simply Bill. This is the story of one of Australia's greatest artists. It explores how ambition and talent took a working class boy a long way in the world, and how the reaction to one painting almost destroyed him. It's also a celebration of community, and how one man finally discovered where he belonged - in the unlikeliest of places.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781925030549
ISBN-10: 1925030547
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 153mm x 41mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2014
Country of Publication: Australia

YouTube Videos - Bill: The Life of William Dobell by Scott Bevan

Scott Bevan introduces Bill: The Life of William Dobell

In post-war Australia, William Dobell was a household name. But the most famous artist in the land was a broken man. His Archibald Prize-winning portrait of Joshua Smith was the subject of a sensational legal case, challenging not only Dobell’s right to the prize, but the very idea of art itself. Dobell won the legal battle but lost so much else. His health was shattered, and his desire to paint was wiped out. He had to get away. Just north of Sydney, Wangi Wangi is far removed from big city life. Dobell moved to Wangi to escape fame, but in that beguiling little place he found community and friendship, and he rediscovered the passion to paint – and the joy of life. Through years of research and interviews with Dobell’s friends and long-time locals, acclaimed author and former Wangi resident Scott Bevan discovered how the village protected the artist, cared and posed for him, drank and partied with him. Wangi loved him as one of their own. To the world, he was Sir William Dobell, famous artist, but to Wangi, he was simply Bill. This is the story of one of Australia’s greatest artists. It explores how ambition and talent took a working class boy a long way in the world, and how the reaction to one painting almost destroyed him. It’s also a celebration of community, and how one man finally discovered where he belonged – in the unlikeliest of places. Scott Bevan is a Sydney-based writer, broadcaster and journalist. Like Dobell, he was born in Newcastle and has lived in Wangi Wangi. Unlike Dobell, Scott can’t paint. Bill – The Life of William Dobell is Scott’s fourth book. Available November 2014.


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Author Biography - Scott Bevan

Scott Bevan is the author of three critically acclaimed books: The Hunter, Battle Lines: Australian Artists at War and Water from the Moon: A Biography of John Fawcett. His documentary work includes Oll: The Life and Art of Margaret Olley and The Hunter.

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