Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.
A timeless and enduring blue hue, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.
Imprinted in our psyches as a restful colour, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue re-centres our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.
As technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all, it is easy to understand why we gravitate to colours that are honest and offer the promise of protection. Non-aggressive and easily relatable, the trusted PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue lends itself to relaxed interaction. Associated with the return of another day, this universal favourite is comfortably embraced.
Words courtesy of Pantone – To view enitre article click here
Here are some creative ideas from us on how you could incorporate the 2020 Pantone colour into your life. Whether it be a painting, a piece of glass of a ceramic, Red Hill Gallery has something for all.
On Sunday 10 May many Australians will spend the day celebrating their mothers and other special women in their lives.
While Mother’s Day initially began to promote peace and support women, over the years it has become synonymous with family reunions.
Deciding on an appropriate Mother’s Day gift that is thoughtful and affordable, is a challenge all of its own in the midst of a global pandemic. Now, more than ever, the importance of sharing in traditions like Mother’s Day can go a long way towards keeping a sense of normality.
Nothing says “Mum, you’re treasured” like something made with love, and by hand.
Undecided? Personalised gift vouchers are available any time.
Not only will you find something that will be loved and treasured forever, you will be supporting one of our many talented local artists through the simple gesture of gift-giving.
Happy Mother’s Day!
If there’s one thing that Australians are good at, it’s dealing with hardship.
This month, Red Hill Gallery has drawn on Dorothea Mackellar’s poem (Core of My Heart) “My Country” to inspire optimism in even the toughest times. We’ve known drought, bushfires and floods, and now we are experiencing this global pandemic that keeps us in our houses and tests our resilience in new ways.
Like Mackellar, we at Red Hill Gallery remain forever optimistic as we look for the promised “veil of greenness” in her poem’s last stanza. Our green shoots are being delivered through technology, allowing us to continue to operate and bring our artists’ work to you via the internet.
We’ve now made it easier to search and securely purchase directly from our website redhillgallery.com.au through an online shop that features more than 200 magnificent works of art for sale.
Now, more than ever, our local artists need your support. Please take a look at our website and the beautiful works available through the online store, and add some beauty to your splendid isolation.
Imagine England! “Field and coppice, green and shaded lanes, ordered woods and gardens, dim blue distance, brown streams …” It is the England of my childhood but … “the beauty and the terror of the vast brown land…” has become as much a part of me over the past forty years as the rural England of my childhood. Like so many other immigrants it was a shock.
For my first couple of years in the “Sunburnt Country” I couldn’t cope with the colours, my painting was all wrong! I thought some tall noxious weeds were beautiful shrubs; an early work featured a stretch of groundsel!
I was used to the soft blankets of bluebells on the woodland floor near Morpeth in Northumberland, daffodils and snowdrops poking through the viridian grass and snow patched carpets which herald spring.
We arrived in Australia on March 5 to a very humid thirty-three degrees, having left two days earlier where it was minus three! Emerging from Brisbane Airport was literally a baptism of fire, squinting eyes in the early morning light and struggling with swollen feet and clothes too hot. With the sun bouncing off red dirt blinding me as I walked to a bus stop, not having a car. Heat, sweat, mozzies, plus Pea-beu and Rid for survival mis-pronouncing place names and asking a bus driver to drop me off at Woolloongabba (Wooolloooongaabba, my pronunciation), strange name indeed I thought. Even the first trip to the Gold Coast left me with severe burns and I’ve still got the scars. The only thing that kept me from heading back to freezing cold England was the Pea-beu and Rid and, oh yes, a lack of cash!
I eventually stopped trying to escape the wide brown land and took to reading a few books to try and understand. My steep learning curve, it was fascinating. Emerging from Robert Hughes ‘Fatal Shore’ and Xavier Herbert’s ‘Poor Fellow My Country’; to visiting the work of John Glover, McCubbin, Roberts and Streeton at AGNSW, which turned the key in the lock of my consciousness….and there it all was. My encounter with these books about Australia and its landscapes and the stories have been endlessly fascinating.
The first major work I did (after coming to grips with the colours) I called ‘Prindy’. ‘Prindy’ of course was one of the main characters of “Poor Fellow My Country”. Although the character was an adult, I imagined him as a beautiful young man/boy in the vastness of North Queensland. It was to be the first work I ever sold here, and the novel inspired many more.
Life is circular… When my sister-in-law was persuaded to leave Canada and come to Australia she worked as a nurse on Wickham Terrace, Brisbane. A colleague invited her for dinner at his place and lo and behold… there was ‘Prindy’ on his wall!!!! With three other John Maitland paintings. She married him!
And wait there’s more! It has come to pass that we can now also say that two of our good friends have had a close friendship with Xavier Herbert and the painter of another picture from far North Queensland which features the actual ‘Prindy’ himself!!!
This is no common bush poem or folksy poetry, not for me, it smacks of the grandeur of “sweeping plains” and “beauty and terror” of this vast island continent. Just writing those words send a shiver down my spine!
Those who know my work will know I’ve travelled extensively through Australia, and I see it as a pastiche of the beauty and grandeur I’ve seen. So, for my part in this exhibition there is sand, rocks, cliffs, desert, and the water which is so vitally important in the struggle for survival on this vast continent…… And, of course, the people are there too, then there’s the “Jewelled sea” as Mackellar puts it, opalescent and magnificent.
Never did I imagine what it would become for me.
All of these elements I brought into painting my SUNBURNT COUNTRY.
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“The content of ‘talking in whispers’ is essentially a very personal story of twelve most enjoyable years of art practice, with very slow progress towards some sort of mastery. MASTERY is available to anyone, in any discipline, prepared to get on the path, and stick with it.”
Coming off the back of a very successful 2019 presenting to business practices and groups in tertiary education, as well as a very successful presentation program with the Australian Institute of Architects’ continuous professional development program, Rich now has the opportunity to present ‘talking in whispers’ at Red Hill Gallery.
COMMENTS from previous ATTENDEES in pursuit of mastery
“It was captivating” – Mell Greenall | Executive Director AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE of ARCHITECTS
“A hugely enjoyable and refreshing exposure of what is usually an internal process and dialogue. It left the studio with plenty to think about, especially the difference between progress and perfection” – Gary Schmidt | Director LOA BRANDING Brand & Creative Strategy
“Quite profound” – Sean Wilson | Senior Manager INNERSPACE
“Rich Allen’s presentation on his pursuit of mastery is a ‘must see’. It is refreshing, inspirational and unique. I left with a smile on my face. It made my day and week” – Brad Williamson | ARCHITECT
“It was one of the best cpd [continuing professional development] events I have attended. I gained a significant amount from it. Thank you again” – Grant Hinds | Associate TRAPP ARCHITECTS
“Rich draws on extraordinary experiences to tell a story that needs to be heard by – well, everyone! In this age of instant, technology-driven gratification, it is no surprise that professionals across all industry sectors, are embracing the authenticity and simplicity in his message of mastery” – David Yeates | General Manager Sales VERTON AUSTRALIA
“Many thanks for your very informative talk today and for your insights and honesty” – Caroline Yuen | Senior Executive Interior Architecture PEDDLE THORP ARCHITECTS
“I need to come back and listen to this again” – Catherine E Baudet | Design Director FERRIER BAUDET ARCHITECTS
“Red Hill Gallery artists Nick Olsen, Paul Margocsy, and Adrienne Williams will be sharing a stunning array of new works in our Brisbane Gallery this October. Exploring their distinct ‘habitats’, the artists will be exhibiting vibrant works featuring both natural and suburban scenes. I am delighted to be presenting this unique collection, opening on October 11th and continuing until 27 October 2019. .”
– Gallery Director Margaret Campbell-Ryder
Nick Olsen is a Brisbane artist working with suburban and architectural subject matter. His expert palette truly makes his leisurely local scenes shine, capturing the light, shadow, and quiet spirit of a warm afternoon in Brisbane’s suburbs. Modern, but with a certain air of timelessness, these Olsen pieces will maintain their ‘je ne sais quoi’ for countless years to come.
Appreciative of our feathered and furred friends in the wild, Melbourne’s Paul Margocsy captures the most elegant, playful, and majestic scenes nature has to offer. His fine, painterly technique offers something to appeal to the refined veteran art collector, the adventurous first-time buyer, and all art lovers in between.
Adrienne Williams feels a connection with the quintessential country Australian landscape, which she now finds outside her door, living near Bundaberg. The hazy, stylised work featured in the exhibition explores the fascinating shape and movement of Australia’s unique native trees, creating a dreamlike vision of natural utopia. Teetering on the edge of abstraction, her work expresses poignantly the starkness and wild beauty of natural Australia.
Refined in both their colouring and their sculptural foundations, Powell’s currently showing collection is a feast for the eyes, waiting to be snatched up. A variety of colours and styles feature in the exhibition, ranging from nuanced neutral blends, to bright yellows and greens, to cool metallic tones. The work is primarily crystalline glaze Powell has even managed to include some elegant glasswork in the collection.
“It is wonderful to have such sophisticated and unique work on show in the Gallery – Powell truly excels in his craft.” – Margaret Campbell-Ryder, Gallery Director
“A mastery of the potter’s wheel and crystal glazes, along with a new-found fascination with casting techniques and glass-work, have allowed me to explore a mix of media that is unique in the art form. My latest pieces explore the translucent nature of glass in combination with, and in contrast to, the space-defining clay object.” – Bill Powell
Powell’s masterful new work will be showing alongside Katherine Wood’s gorgeous landscapes, at Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, until September 22nd 2019.
Good evening everyone – so because I struggle with short term memory (which is probably due to turps frying my brain over the last 28 years) I’ve decided to rather read a few words this evening and surrender to trying to pretend I’m great at speeches.
This body of work is about finding a connection – a connection with ourselves and at the same time with others and if we let it, it can be an anchor of self-expression in our spaces and in our lives. The theme of my art has always been based on our relative insignificance in relation to the bigger scheme of life. The parody that we are also all capable of more than we think and ultimately to persevere in the face of adversity. Although the tree/figure may stand alone we are all intrinsically connected. This isn’t just my story – it’s also yours. The underlying message in this is our oneness. We are all connected.
Once upon a time there was a snowflake. It’s name was Sara. Sara the Snowflake had a brother named Sam. Sam the Snowflake.
Sara and Sam both lived a good life—but they feared for the day that they would die, melting away into the nothingness. Then one day the Snow Angel appeared to both of them. “A snowflake is eternal. Did you know that?” the Angel said, and then the Angel explained:
“The very first snowflakes in the history of the world are the snowflakes that are falling today. They fall from the sky as highly individualized physicalisations. There are no two snowflakes alike. There never have been, in all the history of snowflakes.
“The flakes are awesomely beautiful in their individual design. No one who watches them falling from the heavens can fail to see their exquisite splendour. People run outside when snowflakes fall, beholding their breathtaking magnificence.
“As they land, they merge with one another. People call a huge collection of them on the ground simply ‘snow.’ They don’t say, ‘Look at that big pile of snowflakes.’ They say, ‘Look at that mountain of snow.’
They see all the individual snowflakes as One. And indeed, the snowflakes are One with One Another.” The Angel went on…
“Soon the sun comes out and the snow melts, each flake disappearing, one by one. They don’t, of course, disappear at all. They simply change form. Now they are water, rippling together in a sparkling puddle or flowing together in a little stream.
“The sun continues to work its magic, and soon the water itself disappears. Or seems to. Actually, it, too, simply changes form. It evaporates, rising into the air as invisible vapours and gathering there in such concentration that they are visible again—as clouds.
“As more and more vapours gather, the clouds become heavy with their moisture. Soon, once again, the moisture falls, raining down upon the earth. And if the temperature is just right, the falling rain turns into snowflakes again—no two snowflakes alike. Ever. In the history of snowflakes.”
Sara and Sam were never so happy in their entire lives. Suddenly, everything was what you might call . . . crystal clear.
And so, in the snow we see the Cycle of Life and the Story of You.
I hope that through this body of work you are inspired to go deeper. Inspired to look into yourself, express yourself….and connect with yourself. Through finding connection these pieces bring comfort and consolation in knowing although we appear alone we are not. Relief, support, compassion is within all of us.
I believe that we should surround ourselves only with things that are immensely useful or beautiful. There is so much beauty in this life, we should embrace it completely — including the lessons that can sometimes be very painful.
Clear your energy – live in only constructive energy….. powerful, stirring, contemplative, calming and passionate energy.
Make your living space inspire you, reflect you and uplift you. Connect.
Thank you Margaret and everyone from Red Hill Gallery for giving me the opportunity to exhibit with you – can’t believe we have been with you for 12 years – so honoured to be among so many amazing artists and for everyone taking the time to be here tonight.
I hope “Connection” creates portals of solitude for the viewer to escape from life’s chaos and give relief and calmness to a ever increasing turbulent world. Enjoy and thank you.
~ Katherine Wood ~
Rich Allen describes himself as “a London Brit by birth, and an Australian by choice!” He studied painting and drawing for five years, and is a graduate from the Central [now Central St Martins School of Art], in London.
Migrating to Brisbane in 1982, Rich practiced as a graphic designer, and corporate identity specialist [a service he defines as one of “differentiation by design”]. Following a great deal of soul searching, fuelled by a desire for personal re-invention, he returned to his fine art on a full time basis in late 2009.
Working with the single-minded theme of INTIMISM [capturing quiet/fleeting moments], and driven by process, Rich’s approach is organized and measured, with all his time recorded. He recently accrued 17500 hours, and has calculated and charted the various dates during which he believes “brief spells of progress” have been achieved.
Since August 2018, Rich has been refining and delivering a presentation, with an accompanying display of pictures and related supporting material. It is titled: “talking in whispers in pursuit of mastery”.
A highlight, has been a five week exercise located in the auditorium of the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. This work has been carried out as a contributor to the AIA’s Continuing Professional Development programme, and is currently being provided on a continuing basis, with Rich visiting architecture practices.
In addition, and with the aid of his “PopUp” display, Rich is presenting to groups within other professional services and the tertiary education sector.
Rich’s presentation, which is divided into a number of segments he has titled: “nine bites”, verbalizes and visualizes his journey from the outset. He states: I believe that mywork is simply about a disciplined pursuit towards some sort of mastery. Embracing and enjoying plateaus of pure practice are paramount to the process”.
“This body of work is about finding a connection; not only a connection with ourselves but at the same time a connection with others. The theme of my art has always been based on our relative insignificance in relation to the bigger scheme of life. The parody that we are all capable of more than we think and ultimately to persevere in the face of adversity. Although the tree/figure may stand alone we are all intrinsically connected, this isn’t just my story – it’s also yours. The underlying message in this, is our oneness and that we are all connected.” – Katherine Wood
Wood has always tried to create art that strikes deeper emotions and resonates with the viewer on a sublime level, that is beyond words. She hopes that through this body of work you are inspired to go deeper. Inspired to look into yourself, express yourself and connect with yourself.
Wood believes that we should surround ourselves only with things that are immensely useful or beautiful. There is so much beauty in this life, it should be embraced completely — including the lessons that can sometimes be very painful. Through finding connection, these pieces bring comfort and consolation in knowing although we appear alone, we are not.
Through her painting she hopes to create portals of solitude for the viewer to escape from life’s chaos and give relief and calmness to an ever-increasing frenetic world. When you stop the internal dialogue battle and let in stillness and silence, we are no longer subjecting ourselves to fear.
“I hope “Connection” creates portals of solitude for the viewer to escape from life’s chaos and give relief and calmness to an ever-increasing turbulent world. In creating just, a glimpse of something to define reality but allowing one to dream up any space or time. Taking the viewer into a deeper meditative outlet. Giving the mind a break. Amidst the serenity and calmness in these pieces we are able to exhale and let go.” – Katherine Wood
VIEW COLLECTION ONLINE HERE
As more employers require a certain amount of existing work experience, internships become one of the most highly recommended experiences for undergraduates. With the help of the Queensland University of Technology and Red Hill Gallery, we have had the opportunity to gain some of the most valuable knowledge in our final year of study. Through 100-hours of work placement at the gallery, under the guidance and support of the amazing team, we both have grown significantly as professionals and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Interning at Red Hill Gallery I was given the opportunity to learn more about the business of Art Consulting and Corporate Art Consultation. Being able to discuss the business with people in the profession and see the work process for myself has been an amazing experience that I will take with me after graduation and hopefully be able to use to start my own career in the industry.
The gallery has always been a welcoming and accommodating environment, which is a credit to the wonderful people that work there, that I am extremely grateful to have learnt so much from. Interning at Red Hill has been a vastly rewarding experience and one that I will always remember.
Sarah Meehan | QUT Bachelor of Creative Industries (Art and Design History)
The short time I spent at Red Hill Gallery has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my journey as an undergraduate. While the university has provided me with the theoretical understanding of the art and various skill sets, this work placement is an impacting lesson which taught me how to apply those skills in the real world. The internship has helped me meet more people in the industry and assisted in developing a network, giving me a tremendous competitive advantage for my future endeavours.
Learning more about the role of an Art Consultant and the commercial side of a gallery, I’ve gained better insights into the fine art industry in Brisbane and discovered my place within it. The excellent staff at the gallery have played such a significant role in my growth as a professional and as a person. Passing on their wisdom and experience through trusting me with different tasks in the gallery, I’ve learned how to be more detail-oriented and persist through any challenge presented to me. I’m very grateful to the gallery and the university for giving me this invaluable learning experience that prepared me for bigger adventures after my graduation in June.
Chloe Cao (Duyen Le Cao) | QUT Bachelor of Creative Industries (Art and Design History)
This July Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane is honoured to present and offer the rare opportunity for art collectors to view and procure paintings by Australian artistic royalty, Jamie Boyd. With his newest body of artwork – ‘New Reflections on Past Impressions’ opening on Friday 5 July 2019.
As the most prominent living member of the famous Boyd family dynasty, Jamie Boyd is a highly accomplished artist, based in London, with artworks exhibited all over the world. As the fourth generation of an artistically gifted bloodline, he is the only son of the late Arthur Boyd and grandson of the late Merric Boyd. With a rich family history and equally rich understanding of artistic expression.
A master of colour and craft, Boyd utilizes materials of any shape, colour or description to create visually mesmerizing artworks. Having begun his career at an exceptionally early age, Boyd has painted en plein air with John Perceval, Charles Blackman, David Boyd and his father Arthur Boyd.
This collection harks back to early subject matter painted by Boyd “on the spot”. Jamie believes that by looking back again at the early sketches, it is possible to see more in them now than at the time they were painted, granting reflection as a primary theme within this collection of work.
“It seems one often paints what is in the imagination – what one wants to see – but even so, an essential element of the landscape settles there too, on the canvas – only later to come into focus.” ~ Jamie Boyd
Some of these new works reflect that new insight. Reflection has always been of primary concern for the artist as his determination to be continually challenging and redefining his knowledge of art is expressed through Boyd’s experimentation and reinvention of his work.
‘New Reflections on Past Impressions’ a collection of predominantly oil on canvas works magnificently crafting with key attention to colour theory. The artists observation of his subject matter is influenced by light and atmospherics, expressed through his exhilarating visions.
This July, Brisbane art lovers will be given an insight into one of Australia’s most well-renowned artistic families, experiencing the influence of an entire dynasty within Jamie’s new work.
The 4 Amigo’s, Ben Lucas, Herman Pekel, Ted Moran and Todd Whisson come together to bring to Red Hill Gallery a tranquil and eclectic collection of works. Inspired by the natural beauty of the earth, these 4 collections of works combine to form a dynamic exhibition, with an ode to mother nature and the natural environment. Lucas, Pekel and Whisson express their own personal adoration and relationship with nature through their paintings of coastal landscapes, floral arrangements and familiar Australian scenery. Whilst sculptor, Ted Moran’s love for the ocean influences his nautical sculptural designs. Presented together, the 4 Amigo’s will bring a soothing and refreshing new exhibition, adorning the walls of Red Hill Gallery with the colours of the earth, from Saturday 8 June 2019.
Ben Lucas is a painter of colour, light, movement and memoires. The artists concern for capturing and conveying the emotions evoked by the landscape meet his concerns for the landscape itself. Ben paints from memory, drawing on his time spent watching the constant shifting moods of the ocean and the play of light on its surface at different times of the day. As Ben says, “With my painting there’s always this tension or balance between portraying what is seen and what is felt”.
For Herman Pekel, environmental issues are of paramount concern. This veneration of mother nature in all her contrasting glory is reflected in each of the unique landscape panoramas he paints. His paintings reveal a complex inner design as the scope of his pictorial work, ranging from soft and cozy interiors to dynamic pastoral imagery of tempestuous Australian vistas and romantic European reminiscences.
As the only sculptor in this exhibition, Ted Moran brings a different dimension to the 4 Amigo’s exhibition. Ted’s career in art includes sculptures in stained glass panels and a combination of metal and molten glass pieces. Now based on the Sunshine Coast, the influence of the oceans rich colours and movement is extensively evident on Ted’s nautical inspired sculptural pieces.
Todd Whisson’s recent work takes an abstract impressionist approach, which continues to reflect his skill in traditional techniques. This approach has enabled Todd to communicate more than a visual representation, expressing the beauty of floral arrangements and coastal landscapes. “As an artist, my paintings are loose and suggestive allowing the viewer to place personal thoughts and memories reflective of a time and place” – Todd Whisson.
Combining an eclectic collection of painting and sculpture, the 4 Amigo’s moody, romantic and soulful landscapes, still life and sculptures will exhibit from Saturday 8 June and continue until Sunday 23 June 2019 at Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, QLD.
PLAYING IN LIGHT WITH A SPLASH OF COLOUR – John Maitland & Ken Strong – May 2019 at Red Hill Gallery
Renowned Australian artists, John Maitland and Ken Strong return to Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane to showcase their new, vibrant body of works. Through the joyous lens of youth, Maitland explores the naivety and fragility shown within the harnessed imperfections of each work. Meanwhile, Strong combines light, colors and contrast in his portrayal of the Australian landscape and Brisbane. Presented together, the two collections will bring a dynamic new breath to the gallery with robust colors and textures from Wednesday 15 May 2019.
John Maitland’s skillfully executed oil and acrylic paintings are informed by figurative expressionism and imbued with rigorous colour and texture. Within the ‘Splash of Colour’ body of work, Maitland draws inspiration from the ballet, depicting young ballerinas resting after training, a little exhausted and exhilarated. Sunday School is another theme explored by the artist, giving him “an excuse to have a lot of fun with paint” – John Maitland. The artists cerebral interaction with the painting and the canvas informs a sequence of physical movement and paint application, using flicks, dabs and splashes to achieve the texture of a completed work of art.
Ken Strong’s latest body of work, ‘Playing in Light’ is an alluring new addition to his 20 years of Australian landscapes paintings. Characterized by bold applications of paint, Strong continues to build on his legacy of Internationally acclaimed impressionistic paintings. The artist describes the essence of this selection of works as “the feature of light as the subject”. With his essential creative combination comprised of the portrayal of light, colour and contrast, the artist plays on the viewers imagination. Merging obvious points of interest and suggestive compositions, Strong graces the canvas with an otherworldly interplay of light and hues that pulls on one’s heartstrings.
Combining a collection of figurative beauty in ‘Splash of Colour’ by John Maitland and Ken Strong’s vibrant artist landscapes in ‘Playing with Light’, this duo bathed in talent will exhibit from Wednesday 15 May and continue until Sunday 2 June 2019 at Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, QLD.
For further information about the gallery and its represented artists, please visit redhillgallery.com.au
For additional details, interviews and/or image requests please contact:Jan Griffith, Senior Art Consultant, Red Hill Gallery
P: (07) 3368 1442 M: 0448 114 007
Sales will commence prior to the opening of the exhibition.
Red Hill Gallery is located at 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Brisbane QLD, and is open seven days
Being an artist, I believe I see things and situations rather differently to most. My work is made at my Gold Coast studio, at Korora, Coffs Harbour and sometimes in the UK. Whilst it is not context specific, the context does affect how I work.
Recently, after being awarded an important commission for an historic Brisbane school, I happened to glance at a print of one of my works which was painted some years ago and, which is now in the collection of Brisbane Catholic Education. I was immediately captivated by the humble old chair which is depicted in the piece. Although an integral part of the painting, it is simply and quite childishly portrayed. But …it is quite powerful.
I became fixated on it, just an old school chair, it had been around the house for a few years. I decided to honour it by painting it into this new small series called Ballerinas. So, why did I decide to paint a series around an old chair, rough around the edges? Well, contrasted with the beauty of the ballerinas, it has an incredible beauty of its own.
In my latest exhibition I’ve drawn inspiration from a few themes, the ballet, youth and, from one of my favourite series which I have revisited, Sunday School. In the Ballerina paintings most are with the young ballerinas resting after their training, a little exhausted, a little exhilarated and their naivety and frailty clearly shown within the harnessed imperfections of each work.
Another theme, Sunday School is from a series I did quite a few years back, it’s simply an excuse to have a lot of fun with paint, children either tumbling out of or into Sunday School with big sisters and brothers or parents in a suggested vast landscape, with the Sunday School itself nowhere to be found!
In the course of the last few months I also embarked on a series of works for which I have a great affection. In general, the paintings depict youthful figures…female but a younger brother in some, they represent the joy of youth when every day is lots of fun, giggling laughing and just being together in a little huddle…. just the way things should be in an idyllic world.… so important now when pressures on our youth from a number of quarters can make that special time extremely difficult to navigate!!! They are in truth rather story bookish, and they are meant to be.
A little while ago I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Crescent Heads, a coastal town in NSW. It was exhilarating itself just to watch the fun and joy of adults and children hurtling down the Killick Creek on buggy boards towards the ocean, courtesy of the current as the tide goes out. There the idea for the series was hatched, not to depict sea views, but just children being children in a range of settings.
I am also looking forward to painting a response to the recent news stories about the historic Travelling Stock Routes and the drovers who have been moving extraordinary numbers of cattle down these from North Queensland to Dalby and beyond. Amazing!! I can’t promise anything due to time constraints but keep watching this space!
In conclusion, I’d like to share with you that as I work I move from what appears to be chaos to the finished work. I have an almost ritualistic sequence of physical movement and paint application using flicks and dabs and splashes, building them up, leaving them outside in the elements. There is a cerebral interaction between myself, the painting and the canvas which makes no sense to anyone but me. Eventually, when it is sitting on the easel it makes sense. And with the addition or subtraction of strokes of paint and harmonising of colours like a musical score sheet it will make sense as a completed work of art.