Pure gold: Gladys fan art draws inspiration from a premier with star power| Fiona Katauskas

Admirers’ many and varied portraits get Gladys Berejiklian down to a fine art. Here are 10 of my faves

There are few among us who can claim to be mononymous – instantly recognisable by only one name. That honour is reserved for the likes of Beyoncé, Kylie, Prince, Oprah, Rhianna and, of course, our very own Gladys.

While the others in that list may have earned their mononymity through sheer star power, Gladys owes hers to the Australian tradition of refusing to bother to learn an “ethnic” name. But Gladys does have a certain star quality – even if confined to the New South Wales political firmament – and like these stars is the subject of a bit of the ole fan art.

Gladys Berejiklian fan art by @harry_eggington.
Gladys Berejiklian fan art by @harry_eggington. Photograph: gladysfanart/ instagram

For those in search of a gallery of glorious Gladyses drawn by her devotees, @gladysfanart on Instagram is the place to go. For those who can’t be bothered but would still like to see some of the public’s portraiture of the premier, here are 10 of my faves:

First, it’s Jack Stolzenberg with some straight-up stanning. Strong black linework (I’d say an Artline 0.6) on lined notepaper. Looks like it was drawn in the back of a school exercise book. Could have had a few more love hearts around her face but otherwise a teenage classic.

Lydia Burt also goes for lined paper – but with a biro. On a personal note, I’m loving seeing people draw with whatever materials are available to them. It’s FAN art not FINE art, and anyway, everyone should embrace creativity no matter their level of talent.

That said, I’m not sure if the vertical protuberance is part of the lectern or a depiction of the Trouser Snake of Patriarchy about to bare its metaphorical fangs. Look out, Gladys!

All great works of art have an element of mystery to them and Jess Roskalita’s work (crayon on paper) is no exception. What is Gladys doing? Wiping bushfire ash from her eye? Hiding tears of relief that everyone seems to have forgotten that dodgy Daryl Maguire business? Or is Scott Morrison just out of frame and she’s pressing her eyes to stop them from rolling too far back in her head? We will never know.

Speaking of mystery, this Digglet work (felt-tip pen on paper) is full of it. I love the strong style and clean line work, but what really intrigues me are the eyes. What has Gladys seen just to the viewer’s left? Grim stats on Covid? John Barilaro shooting his mouth off again? A cloud of Mark Latham brain fart? Again, we shall never know.

Gladys Berejiklian fan art by @_digglet.
Gladys Berejiklian fan art by @_digglet. Photograph: gladysfanart/ instagram

Another Gladys-related mystery that has plagued the people of NSW is what the hell she ever saw in Maguire? I, for one, am happy to never find out – but James Crovid (biro on notepaper) is confident Daz was the Love of Her Life. Don’t be too sure, James!

Isabelle Littlewood (pencil on paper) has really captured a particular Gladys expression. I can imagine it as part of a poster for a romcom called Going Viral, with Gladys as a long-suffering medical scientist trying to rein in her hapless blowhard of a boyfriend (Morrison) while failing to prevent a second wave of infection ...

… and Maryanne (pencil on paper) has the face she would pull at the end.

Not sure about the neck thing but Avani jpeg‘s work (digital illustration) is close to my heart. As someone with an oft-mispronounced “ethnic” surname, I get that some names can seem difficult, but FFS give it a go and then learn how to say it properly! It’s not hard! Show some respect! Also, don’t smoke.

While Gladys may have hit a snag in the real world, @Shany.b (digital illustration) shows her eating one. It’s clearly a democracy sausage and who doesn’t love democracy – other than authoritarians, the US Republican party and a significant percentage of millennials. She’s eating it with relish (or at least a fair suck of the sauce bottle) and her slightly cynical squint shows she knows just how that sausage is made.

And finally, @imo_water_carver (coloured texta on paper) shows how quickly things change. Seems like only weeks ago that Gladys was being hailed as the saviour of the nation, her standards gold and, in this work, her hair. What this quite charming picture lacks in resemblance to the subject it makes up for as a testament to times gone by and the fact that fandom is truly blind.

• Fiona Katauskas is an Australian freelance political cartoonist


Fiona Katauskas

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Whatever kudos Gladys Berejiklian has won from handling the pandemic, it's diminishing | Malcolm Farr
The NSW premier is aware she has been seen by critics as the wimp of the virus fighters. Still she flinches

Malcolm Farr

31, Dec, 2020 @4:24 AM

Article image
Did Gladys Berejiklian wait too long to lock down Sydney? | Peter Collignon, Zoë Hyde and Hassan Vally
Health experts discuss whether the NSW premier acted quickly enough against the Delta variant

Peter Collignon, Zoë Hyde and Hassan Vally

28, Jun, 2021 @5:30 PM

Article image
Gladys Berejiklian’s defence of pork barrelling is only the latest serious failure of judgment | Anne Davies
The NSW premier’s work ethic is to be admired, but recent behaviour seriously calls in to question her fitness to lead

Anne Davies

27, Nov, 2020 @3:07 AM

Article image
I have no advice for Gladys Berejiklian but I do have some for the media | Kristina Keneally
Gladys Berejiklian is an experienced political operator. She doesn’t need my advice just because I’m a woman who has done the job before

Kristina Keneally

22, Jan, 2017 @11:46 PM

Article image
Given the evidence, the intrusion of Icac’s public hearings into Gladys Berejiklian’s private life is justified | Quentin Dempster
It may come down to whether her relationship was ‘close’ or ‘intimate’. Either way, the commission has done its job

Quentin Dempster

16, Oct, 2020 @5:20 AM

Article image
From ‘gold standard’ to bombshell relationship: the rise and fall of Gladys Berejiklian
The self-described ‘goody-goody’ became the first woman elected NSW premier before a corruption investigation sank her leadership

Elias Visontay

01, Oct, 2021 @8:00 PM

Article image
Gladys Berejiklian: six pressing matters facing the new NSW premier
As the New South Wales Liberal leader takes over from Mike Baird, these are her most immediate political problems

Christopher Knaus

23, Jan, 2017 @3:21 AM

Article image
NSW’s ‘gold standard’ on Covid tarnished as Gladys Berejiklian faces acid test
The premier’s words hammered home the seriousness of the situation and the challenges for leaders trying to control coronavirus

Michael McGowan

07, Jul, 2021 @6:29 AM

Article image
Gladys Berejiklian to be NSW premier after unopposed election as Liberal leader
Berejiklian will succeed Mike Baird as premier, after party room unanimously endorses her as leader on Monday

Christopher Knaus

23, Jan, 2017 @3:58 AM

Article image
Ruby Princess: NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian apologises 'unreservedly' for cruise ship debacle
The premier says that while lessons have been learned, the commissioner found ‘no systemic failures to address’ in NSW Health’s operations

Naaman Zhou

17, Aug, 2020 @3:40 AM