1920-1948 Developing Artist

In 1920 at aged 29, Ian Fairweather enrolled as a student painter at the Slade School in London where he studied on and off until 1924. He also studied Japanese at the School of Oriental Studies.

Over the next couple of decades Fairweather travelled extensively in Europe, Asia and Australia frequently living in extreme poverty.

He worked odd jobs but continued to paint as well as studying calligraphy and Chinese. He was sending work to London and elsewhere for sale and exhibition. This period included solo exhibitions at the Redfern Gallery in London and at galleries in the US and Australia.

During World War Two, Fairweather again enlisted initially working at a desk job in Singapore and later serving at a prisoner of war camp in Bangalore.

Following his discharge in 1943, Fairweather returned to Australia where he spent the rest of his life, more or less. He spent much of the late 1940s living in Cairns.

In 1947 he sent 130 paintings to London for exhibition but they were too damaged to exhibit. His last show at the Redfern Gallery was in 1948. In that year he sent 4 paintings to Macquarie Galleries in Sydney.