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Leigh Hobbs
, 1993

by Francis Reiss

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 48.3 x 33.0 cm, image: 45.3 x 32.4 cm)

Leigh Hobbs (b. 1953), children’s book writer/illustrator and artist, began his career in the arts at Luna Park, for which he created the caricature figures Larry and Lizzy Luna, now in the Powerhouse Museum. For 25 years until 2002, he worked as an art teacher and regularly exhibited his work. Hobbs’s first illustrations for a book were for Judy Tuer’s' Cheer up, Jessie' in 1987; he has since illustrated some 18 books by other authors. The first of his own 20 or so self-illustrated books for children was 'Old Tom' (1994), which spawned a number of sequels and was adapted into a television series in 2002. His first 'Horrible Harriet' book appeared in 2003, and the first 'Fiona the Pig' in 2004. 'Mr Chicken goes to Paris', published in 2009, is the only book that has been sold in the Louvre; the character created more mayhem in 'Mr Chicken Lands on London' (2014).

This photograph taken by portrait photographer and photojournalist Francis Reiss shows Hobbs at work drawing his feline antihero ‘Old Tom,’ and is part of the series of eminent Victorians that was commissioned by the State Library of Victoria in the 90s.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2009
Accession number: 2009.9