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The Qualities of Quast - "His dresser, Stewart Halbisch, as always, was a tower of strength."

I have found this, googling, on the www. It is an article, entitled: “The Qualities of Quast”.

It is an interview with Jo Litson, The Weekend Australian, 29-30 April 1989, and starts with: A YEAR ago, Philip Quast thought he would now be in Antarctica hitching a ride on a supply ship – instead he is on his way to London’s West End. The actor, who loves fishing and sailing with a passion that almost exceeds his love for theatre, has been invited to repeat his show stopping performance as the iron willed Inspector Javert in the London production of Les Miserables.

The reason I found this was because I was searching for Stewart Halbisch, a fellow primary school teacher, who undertook the Art-teachers Conversion Course, at the same time as I (did), 1969 onwards (He completed it. I didn’t.)

A quote from the article on Quast goes:

His dresser, Stewart Halbisch, as always, was a tower of strength. “He kept me sane throughout the whole run. I am deeply indebted to him,” says Quast, who has a Halbisch drawing of him as Javert hanging proudly on his wall._

In those years, 1969-1971, on quiet Saturday afternoons, when not working on some assignment for the course, I often got into my little v.w., and drove to the Eastern Suburbs, every so often knocking on Stewart’s door, to his flat, in Coogee.

He would wave me (rather theatrically) inside and offer me a mug of coffee (which often had a slight taste of detergent to it – sorry Stewart!) and surrounded by his huge paintings, (of naked men/models) we would sit and chat about teaching and art, and kids and life.

Extremely talented, Stewart would often, modestly refer to his paintings as chocolate-box -style. Very realistic. Stewart sewed costumes and was already involved with the stage.

He moved to Tamworth, as Art advisor, for the NSW Department of Education. I almost went to look for him, one day, when I went to watch two of my primary school soccer team stars play there trying to qualify for the state primary school soccer team.

That was my last connection with Stewart. I am so curious about where he is! I doubt that I should go to ABC TV and ask: Can You Help?

The only other reference via Google is: 1980. Portrait/Figure Stewart Halbisch

“CURRABUBULA ART SHOW WINNERS ­ ARCHIVES” ……..Stewart, if you’re ut there, say hello!!

P.S.. If you know where Stewart is, please let me know via the forum.

I’d love to reminisce about setting up the ‘Art Exhibition’ for Mascot Primary and our trip to Newcastle and so many other matters.

You see. I would have loved to have read that Stewart starred in Les Miserables, instead of being one of the stars’ dressers.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

The Qualities of Quast - "His dresser, Stewart Halbisch, as always, was a tower of strength."

Ozcloggie

Ramsgate Beach, Australia

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    Notes
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Artist's Description

All right. For all I know, Stewart may read this! Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I guess you’d call Stewart flamboyant! Theatrical! I used to recognise his flat, by the underpants, hanging out to dry, on his balcony.
When I rang his bell, he used to welcome me in, with a sweep of the arm. Artistic! Theatrical. Able to sew and paint pictures, that, he himself used to say were too ’Women’s Weekly’. Where are you, Stewart?

Artwork Comments

  • Martin Derksema
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