February 02

Ken Done: A Life Coloured In

Post by Chrissy.book-cover

Those that grew up in the 80’s like myself and brought their very first Ken Done doona cover, with the pastel bird print, might understand the excitement that I got reading his biography. I am a self-confessed fan. I loved the vibrant stories of growing up around the beaches of Sydney with his loving mother and wonderful Aunties, and being the only boy in the house being encouraged to paint and explore life. His father was a bomber pilot whom was away a lot when he was a child, but he never missed out on love and had a very happy childhood. Although Ken Done wasn’t keen on school, he was very talented in art and encouraged by his teacher at 15 to enrol in the national Art school at East Sydney where his journey of illustration and design came into his life. In 1975 he began his dream of becoming a full time painter.

This biography shows Ken Done more than just a commercial success, he tells the sudden loss of the profits from a lifetime’s hard work by a trusted friend which took him through a stressful court case then was closely followed by a shock cancer diagnosis. I love his stories about his dogs, his family holidays with Billy Connolly and how with the help of all his family kept his Gallery open all these years.

It was a great read being a lover of his paintings; I enjoyed an insight into his extraordinary life and career.