Well I am happy to share that all my paintings for the Hamilton Art Gallery exhibition are now finished, framed and photographed, all ready to be hung. All that I need to do now is the last few touch ups on my installation, (it has had all the electrical components installed) and to finish making the last of my “three point portals”.
I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this show. I feel grateful for the fact that I am still here, still painting and still being able to be an artist. There are special people who have encouraged me and supported me along the way. One of those people is Adrian Newstead who is a former managing Director of Menzies Art Brand and the owner of Australia’s oldest Aboriginal Art Gallery, Cooee Art Gallery in Sydney. I met Adrian and his wife Anne when I was living in the Northern Territory, through our mutual friends at the Katherine Art Gallery. I was twenty at the time and Adrian encouraged me to keep painting and keep experimenting.
When I moved to New South Wales a few years later, I was given the opportunity to exhibit at a Gallery in Bondi. Adrian opened this show for me and bought along an entourage of friends. Adrian was supportive of my work, while at the same time being honest and critical of it in his kind intelligent manner. I have always trusted his advice, as he understands that my art is so much more to me than what I actually create.
Adrian once told me that if I wanted to be successful it would take resilience and patience and lots of failure, and that I would have to be in the game long term. Looking back I see how spot on his words were!
Anyhow, right now Adrian is in Europe, consulting, visiting galleries and doing all the arty things he does best. When I asked if he would come and open this exhibition for me, he very kindly scheduled his trip around my opening date, arriving home in Australia and pretty much getting on a plane to Melbourne to come out to Hamilton for me. What a guy. I was very touched.
So, if you have a burning question about about Aboriginal Art, Adrian is an expert. Get in touch with him via his Gallery, or catch him at my opening on July 31st. No doubt jet lag will do little to affect his infectious charm!
Looking forward to celebrating this new work with you all…