The WA leg of a film tour depicting the life and impact of Archibald-winning painter Keith Looby started in Bridgetown last Friday. The film, Looby, centres on the multiple award-winning artist and his slow but steady disappearance from the public eye. It covers the life and career of Looby, from his early days at the National Art School through to his life in northern Sydney, where he continues to paint today. Documenting the major honours of his career as an artist, namely the Blake, Sulman and Archibald prizes, the documentary looks deeper as it tries to explain why Looby is not as renowned as others. The Bridgetown showing was the first of a series of screenings taking place throughout Western Australia this month. Co-producer Merilyn Alt said the film had received a great reception at its premiere in the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival as it portrayed the real-life aspects of being a full-time artist. “It shows what life is like to be a full-time artist in Australia; it also makes us wonder how particular paintings get to hang on the wall of art galleries and how other paintings don’t,” she said. Looby is also a passion project for Alt who, along with her late husband, Desmond Murphy, knew the artist personally and wanted to explore why an artist who had achieved so much was not as acclaimed as they felt he deserved. “After my husband passed away from cancer, my son, Sean Murphy, and I decided that we would see the project through its fruition ... it was very much a labour of love,” she said. “It was really wanting to look at this issue, why an Australian artist who was so successful, how is it they just kinda disappear?” The film will have several screenings in Perth before it travels to Geraldton and then Port Hedland.