Part-time weed management officer Raymond Cheney with his portrait of Mick Doohan.
Part-time weed management officer Raymond Cheney with his portrait of Mick Doohan.

Airport worker enters Archibalds

WEED management by day, portrait painting by night, Gold Coast Airport employee Raymond Cheney has entered one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art competitions - the Archibald Prize.

Raymond Cheney is a part-time weed management officer working with the airport environment team but doubles as a contemporary realist artist.

This year Mr Cheney has entered an oil on canvas portrait of 500cc motorcycle racing champion Mick Doohan.

The work is called Surpasser.

"I met Mick at a charity event two years ago and gave him my business card, a week or so later he contacted me and said that he was impressed with my work," Mr Cheney said.

"Mick then gave me the opportunity to hang some of my paintings at his Global Jet business, based at Gold Coast Airport."

Eventually Mr Cheney offered to paint Mr Doohan's portrait.

"Despite Mick's amazing sporting achievements and fame he exudes an aura of calm humility and unpretentiousness and I wanted to bring this attribute to the forefront of my painting," Mr Cheney said.

Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Paul Donovan said the team was extremely proud of Mr Cheney's achievements.

"Raymond has worked here in his casual position within the environment team for the last six years and has always been very humble with regard to his artistic talent," Mr Donovan said.

"To enter into the Archibald Prize is a significant achievement and our entire team will be hoping that Raymond's name is on the finalists list when it's released later this week."

The Archibald Prize finalists will be named on Thursday 15th March 2012.



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