2019 NAP Artwork
Oil on Canvas
70 x 60 cm
This piece was inspired by the popular face painting bilas of the Highland Region, common to Western and Southern Highland Province.
Lesley Wengembo was born on January 04th 1997, Goroka General Hospital. He was raised in the suburb of Port Moresby, Morata. He is originally from Pangia, Southern Highlands and Bundi, Madang Province and is the second youngest of four boys.
Lesley started drawing in the early age of five and was influenced by his father though he was not an artist but he drew attractive images that began Lesley's love of art. He started painting in 2012 when he followed his mum to monthly craft market at Moresby National Art Theatre. There, he saw the work of the late Martin Morobubuna and was influenced by his work.
Lesley began to teach himself to paint by watching YouTube videos and seeing old master's works. He met Jeffry Feeger and Tony Wesley Evennet in 2015 who took him to their studio in Renbo Estate and encouraged Lesley to pursue art professionally. Lesley credits Feeger & Evennet as being the biggest influencers in his art career.
Lesley’s works are mostly portraits and landscape using Oil paint on canvas. He loves painting faces and feels it connects him to his culture and Papua New Guinean identity.
Lesley is dedicated to his faith, putting god first in everything. He understands that having a gift comes great responsibility, and with responsibility should come the humility and principles to commit to that gift. Art to Lesley is everything.
Lesley is currently studying fine art in Sydney, Australia. He would like to gain more knowledge about world art to take back to his country. He dreams that one day he will create an art movement of international significance.
Painting each piece is like keeping a journal of the beautiful country. Each painting is a message for the future generation to see and feel proud of their identity. - Lesley Wengembo