MALE LEAD GOES HOME
THIS TIME next week Bob Tudawali will be back in Darwin, looking for a labourer's job with the Department of Works and Housing.
THIS time last week he sat
cross-legged on a model's throne in a Sydney studio, posing for an artist who has made portraits of half the crowned heads of the northern hemisphere.
A Melville Island native, once the buffalo-hunting companion of one of the Coopers whom Xavier Herbert immortalised in "Carpentaria," Bob has been working as the male lead in the film "Jedda."
"My word, that abo. is well educated," exclaimed the photo- grapher who took his picture.
But Bob's education came from the fastnesses of the Northern Territory bush.
"I must confess he surprised me," said the artist, Jerrold Nathan. "I expected someone a little . . . wilder, shall we say."
TOURISTS who met Bob at
such places as Jenolan Caves were amazed by his apparent erudition, his complete grasp of civilised values, his absolute lack, in the circumstances, of self- aggrandisement, and his natural dignity and graceful courtesy.
Bob's presence has given Syd- ney people a much clearer pic- ture of the primitive aboriginal— a picture which enlarges sur- prisingly the meagre estimates of capabilities held by the unin-
Mr. Nathan's primary interest in his study of Tudawali was connected with the problems of light and colour presented by his glistening black skin and the surprisingly brown lights in his wavy hair.
"The subject who came near- est to Bob in my experience was King Feisal of Iraq," he said.
"But he was of a very differ- ent temperament. He was used to having instant attention paid to his slightest wish. I painted him in his apartments in the Savoy Hotel in London. Bob is much easier to work with."
MR. NATHAN has coped
successfully with the prob- lems of painting such subjects as the late King George VI in Buckingham Palace, the Shah of Persia and the Crown Prince of Sweden.
But he was unprepared for Bob Tudawali's ready and intelli- gent co-operation.
He painted him holding a Mel- ville Island killing stick—a fear- some weapon capable of stun- ning, stabbing or strangling game or a human enemy.
"How did you come by it,
Bob," I asked him.
"This one is from Professor Elkin, at the university," said
He thinks it is a good weapon, but he won't be taking it back with him. His present for Peggy, his wife, is a really good radio.
Bob Tudawali, male lead in the film "Jedda," being painted at the Pymble (Sydney) home of the artist Jerrold Nathan.