Exhibition opening on the 24th of January 2021 at Vanrensburg Galleries.
About this body of work – Painting for the Thrill of it.
When coronavirus first hit Australia and the world as we knew it turned on a dime, my first thought was, well there goes painting for a living. I felt like art would be the last thing on people’s minds. I had a key exhibition cancelled and most other work lined up for 2020 was postponed indefinitely.
I went straight to the studio however, and kept making. I was reminded that no matter what was happening I would still have my creativity to fall back on. That I could return to the childlike state of painting for the simple pleasure of it. That I had always had painting. This body of work began in the isolation of my Geelong studio. If anything, the world became quieter, there were less demands on my time and I felt the joy of working like I haven’t for a long time.
In many ways I felt like I was taken back to where I started. Back when I painted purely for myself, without the thought of deadlines, financial concerns or other adult life distractions which so easily spill over into the creative process. I was painting again just for the thrill of it.
So what is the thrill of it for me? It is taking an abstract idea and giving it 2 dimensional form as in And My Heart Burst. It is in collecting experiences and ideas and being able to share them in my own way. For example, The Thought Conductor was inspired by the Coptic Christian crosses I saw in Ethiopia and the idea that God can read our minds. Then there are personal processes I work through, such as in The Light is on in my Fathers House, which is in reference to my own father, and not seeing him all year because of the lockdown. Both The Sorting Point and Gone With the Wind are linked to bigger ideas I have about the environment and how we as a society are at a breaking point which we could go one way or another.
I have often said that painting gives back to me more than it takes. That the process has a two fold benefit. It is both a meditative process as well as a cathartic one. There is almost a relationship that develops during the process of completion of a work. Defying Gravity is a painting which sums this relationship up. It is the artist’s life. To trust that creativity will hold you is to defy gravity in a sense. You can’t question it or look down. You just have to be in it.
While the way I work has changed a lot due to coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, it has also allowed me to discover new opportunities and new ways of doing things. Also it seems people being home more has meant they value their walls more, including what’s on them. So, I am happy and grateful to say that I am still painting for a living.
As always I would love to know which work resonates with you most..
With warmth and gratitude..
AND MY HEART BURST. 80 x 80 cm. Acrylic on linen, framed in natural oak, not shown.
GONE WITH THE WIND. 120 x 120 cm. Acrylic on linen, framed in natural oak, not shown.
THE LIGHT IS ON IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE. 80 x 80 cm. Acrylic on linen, framed in natural oak, not shown.
THE THOUGHT CONDUCTOR. 120 x 120 cm. Acrylic on linen, framed in natural oak, not shown.
TRYING TO DEFY GRAVITY. 80 x 80 cm. Acrylic on linen, framed in natural oak, not shown.