Painter’s wife urges people to work and earn income


ANNA Kawage, who helps her husband to sell his paintings, urges people not to sit around the house but do something to earn an income.
Anna, from East Sepik, is married to Chimbu man Chris Kawage, a former PNG Defence Force officer who is now a fulltime visual artist.
Kawage’s paintings and artwork adorn the walls of many offices in Port Moresby.
The couple have five children.
Anna said through the sale of her husband’s art, all their children had been able to go to school.
She has been selling the pieces at the Pom City Market at the National Museum and Art Gallery every Saturday for the last two months.
Her husband graduated from the National School of Arts at University of Papua New Guinea in the early 2000s. Prior to school, he was with the PNG Defence Force and served his time during the Bougainville Crisis.
Anna said it was through his paintings that the family were able to survive in the city all these years.
Chris does portraits, traditional faces, paintings and drawings depicting culture mostly from the Highlands region such as women carrying bilums, firewood, making gardens and other activities.
Chris has also taught his wife to paint.
“I was not employed, before I used to just sell but he (Chris) doesn’t talk much so I do all the talking and sales,” she laughed.
“After some time, he taught me the art.
“He draws and I put the color, he taught me how to paint and mix colors, to hold the brush, and do painting and I help him to paint.”