Who are these well-known Australians?

One of the longest-running touring exhibitions in Australia returned to Sydney in mid March – and you’re invited to contribute your response to it.

Three Well Known Australians, the 1982 painting by Martin Shaw, has toured 210 venues nationally and was last seen in Sydney in 2009.

It invites viewers to guess which three famous Australians are depicted and to enter their opinions into yearbooks. The yearbooks and the painting tour to galleries, libraries and public halls around Australia.

Bob Hawke thought the three blue, green and red figures were Ned Kelly, Robert Helpmann and Charles Kingsford Smith, and Jacki Weaver said they were Joan Sutherland, Christina Stead and Judy Davis.

Mr Shaw says there are 240 letters on display with the exhibition and these, plus the yearbooks, form an ongoing portrait of Australia and the perpetual touring represents Australia’s political and economic security.

Guesses of who the blue, green and red figures may be include Paul Keating, Kerry Packer, Ernie Dingo, Gai Waterhouse, Kim Beasley and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. But Mr Shaw says he won’t reveal the identities in his artwork as it is intended to keep people guessing for generations to come.

Catch Three Well Known Australians at Kings Cross Library from March 19 to April 29.

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