ABC Conversations

ABC Conversations


December 2022


Artist Ken Done grew up in the suburb of Belmore in Sydney.

He was a small boy when his Dad returned to Australia after serving as a Bomber Pilot in WWII.

After the war his parents took Ken with them to make a new life in the town of Maclean in country NSW. Ken roamed the bush with his mates and took to fishing before and after school. He showed an early talent for drawing, and submitted two works to The Argonauts Radio Show on the ABC which won two gold stars.

Ken left school at 14 to go to Art School full time, and by second year he had achieved one of his goals: 'to see a fully nude woman' in life drawing class. He began working in advertising, and built a stellar career in New York and London.

Some years later he returned home to Sydney with his new wife Judy and began a career as an artist. At the age of 40, he had his first exhibition, and soon after he purchased his own gallery. A small run of t-shirts featuring a drawing of Sydney Harbour began a whole new chapter for Ken and Judy in the 1980s.

At 82, Ken is still painting, and still inspired by his beloved scenes of Sydney Harbour, nature and the flora and fauna of Australia.