Macho power pose and a nod to his hardman reputation: What all the subtle signs in Tony Abbott’s official portrait say about him
- Former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott has unveiled his official portrait
- Mr Abbott commissioned former cartoonist and painter Johannes Leak in 2021
- Painting will hang with portraits of other former prime ministers in Canberra
- Portrait features a hard hat, cricket bat and a bizarre photo of two people kissing
Tony Abbott has revealed his official portrait featuring a macho power pose, a hard hat, a cricket bat, and a bizarre photo of two people in a passionate embrace.
The portrait of the former Liberal prime minister, by artist and former cartoonist Johannes Leak, was unveiled at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
The painting features a coat-less Mr Abbott wearing a bright blue tie, perhaps a nod to the Liberal Party’s colours, and striking a power pose with his hands firmly on his hips and his sleeves rolled up.
Sitting on the bookshelf behind him, the artist has included a hard hat in reference to Mr Abbott’s readiness to drive a truck or tour a worksite during his time as leader, or perhaps his service as a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service.
A cricket bat is also featured, in tribute to Abbott’s love of the gentleman’s game and his university days at the crease.
Tony Abbott has revealed his official portrait (pictured) featuring a macho power pose, a hard hat, a cricket bat
The portrait of the former Liberal prime minister, by artist and former cartoonist Johannes Leak (right) was unveiled at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday
The painting joins parliament’s historic memorials collection, the country’s longest-running commissioning art program, and becomes a permanent fixture of what Leak described as ‘the beating heart of democracy’.
Mr Abbott led the coalition to a landslide election victory over Labor in 2013, before being ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership spill in 2015.
‘Because of the circumstances of politics I never had the chance to give a valedictory speech,’ Mr Abbott said.
He thanked members of the crowd, including his family, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Peter Dutton, and former prime minister Scott Morrison, who only moments later was formally censured by the parliament for his secret ministries.
‘All prime ministers form the most exclusive club that weather the storms of the past and the storms to come,’ he said.
‘I am really here today to say thank you, only one person at one time can lead a party, or a country, but it takes a team to get that person there and to sustain them.
‘I am incredibly grateful to team Abbott.’
Mr Abbott (left) commissioned Leak (right) for the portrait in 2021, when it was revealed the former cartoonist would be paid more than $40,000 for his work
The former liberal leader is pictured with his wife Margie and daughters Louise, Frances and Bridget with Quentice Bryce, Australia’s former governor-general in 2013
Mr Abbott commissioned Leak for the portrait in 2021, when it was revealed the former cartoonist would be paid more than $40,000 for his work.
‘I hope I have been able to capture some of those facets of this genuine down-to-earth politician and man,’ Leak said.
Mr Albanese also thanked Mr Abbott for his leadership, in particular his work in finding justice for the victims of flight MH17, which was shot down by Russian forces killing 27 Australians.
‘We may have had our differences, but you have my respect,’ Mr Albanese said.