A portrait of the late Professor George Seddon and Archibald finalist (entitled "Making Sense of Place #4") by Perth artist Peteris Ciemitis has been accepted as a gift from George's widow, Marli Wallace, to the National Portrait Gallery.
Marli said Seddon would have been very pleased and quietly proud to know of the painting's new home, adding "it will ensure it is on display for all to see. I have been privileged to mind it for a while".
George Seddon (23 April 1927 – 9 May 2007) was an Australian academic who held university chairs in a range of subjects. He wrote popular academic books on the Australian landscape embracing diverse points of view. He was well known for his book Sense of Place (originally published in 1972 with a facsimile version produced in 2004) which brought the needs of the fragile Swan Coastal Plain of Perth to the attention of the public.
He is remembered for his passion and intimate understanding of the ecology and landscape of the coastal plain and for bringing progressive ideas on how to respond to Australia's unique and complex natural environment.
Following a personal introduction to George by Roberts Day Director, Mike Day, Peteris Ciemitis, Senior Associate with Roberts Day, conducted portrait sittings with Professor Seddon in late 2006 that produced a series of four watercolour portraits. The final version, "Making Sense of Place #4", was entered into the Archibald Prize and hung as a finalist in the exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW in March 2007.
Peter hosted George at the launch at the Art Gallery of NSW and later confided that this was one of the proudest moments in his life. Following the exhibition Roberts Day acquired the painting and gifted it to Marli.
A very fitting tribute to a great man so many at Roberts Day had the privilege to spend time with.