Award finalist’s painting

Artist presents portrait to MP Kris Faafoi at Parliament

A portrait of Mana Labour MP Kris Faafoi which competed for this year’s Adam Art Award has been presented to the MP at Parliament by Wellington artist Andy Tristram.

The portrait of the MP in his Parliamentary office was shown in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery with other portraits vying for the first prize in the prestigious competition.

Andy Tristram, who was born in Auckland in 1964, went to England with his parents at the age of eight and after secondary schooling in London went on to study at the Chelsea School of Art.


There he received instruction from Mike Priddle, who specialized in life drawing. Later he worked as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist for magazines, and also undertook private commissions.

He moved back to New Zealand 9 years ago.

Samoan association recalled

Andy Tristram chose Tokelauan/Kiwi MP Kris Faafoi as a portrait subject because of his family’s long association with Samoa.  His uncle, Roger Tristram was the first VSA volunteer to go to Samoa; Roger married a Samoan  and several of Andy’s cousins are Kiwi Samoans.

Another of his uncles, John Tristram, co-founder of Juniper Films, has filmed several documentaries in Samoa over the past 45 years, winning several major awards – and completing the first official film history of Samoa, ‘Samoana.’

(And this year Juniper Films is are in production with the official record of the celebrations marking 50 years of Samoan independence).

Painting and Illustrating in New Zealand

Back in 1989 when Andy returned home from the UK, he first worked as a background layout artist with Freelance Animators in Auckland.

Among other commissions, he drew for ex-Disney animator John Ewing at Freelance Animators, who taught him more about picture composition and drawing technique, paying particular attention to light.

He also freelanced for publications such as ‘Rugby Mania’,  ‘Modern Drummer Magazine’and contributed cartoon illustrations for ‘Fishhead’, the Wellington lifestyle magazine.

In 2011, Andy began painting portraits, and landscapes  around the Wellington area. He also began regularly contributing political cartoons to the Kapiti Independent, an on-line newspaper with a local and national readership.