An artistic love finds a home in Portland
THERE wouldn’t be many Australian artists who could boast of having their work in the Royal Family’s collection, but a Portland man certainly can.
Not that Graham Pratt would rate his work alongside the likes of Fred Williams, whose iconic painting of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge is part of the official Royal Collection, but he knows his own piece of childhood inspiration is in the Royal possession somewhere.
The story goes back to his childhood in the inner north London suburb of Archway.
“When I was five, my school had a visit from Princess Anne,” he said.
“We were doing split pea drawings and she looked at mine and said ‘that’s very nice’.
“I said ‘you can have it if you like’ so she took it. I received a letter and a present later on but I understand that when they take something like that they technically have to keep it.
“So in theory I have a piece of art in the Royal Collection.
“And she’s still my favourite Royal…”
Mr Pratt tells the anecdote with a great deal of self-effacement, and that’s typical of both he and wife Tuula, who moved to Portland in 2016 and have been heavily involved in the arts community ever since.