I am a practising artist living between the Ovens and King Valleys in the Victorian High Country and this is my first exhibition of my artworks.
I am a graphic designer by qualification. Since graduating in 1985 I have worked as a creative director, business developer, project manager, lecturer at Victoria University in Melbourne and Wodonga Tafe and, of all things, a recruiter of design staff.
In my various professional roles, I have been both a service provider and the client and both the principal of my own design business and an employee of diverse enterprises, from cheese makers to hand tool manufacturers.
In late 2014, I resigned from my position at a digital design agency in Melbourne to pursue a life-long ambition to build a body of artworks for exhibition, operating out of my garage in Albert Park, Victoria. In addition to continuing this pursuit, I spend my time parenting my 2 children (and my Siberian Husky) and working with my partner Helen using my design skills to renovate and sell houses.
In April last year we sold our Albert Park house and moved permanently to what was our holiday house on Henley Ridge in Markwood, Victoria. For those who don’t know it, Henley Ridge is perched high between the Ovens and King Valleys. Now, depending on the weather and my whim, I can continue to work out of a garage or from either my indoor studio or any one of a number of outdoor vantage points which take in the “Landlines” view.
I very much enjoy creating my artworks, but it can be a solitary endeavour. My interest in exhibiting them is not only to receive feedback, but also to meet other interested art lovers and become part of the local artistic community.
I enjoy experimenting with various media and abstract styles, incorporating shapes, texture and vibrant colour, to produce artworks of differing complexity and size, as single works or sometimes a series.
In particular, I like painting on both traditional and alternative surfaces, such as wallpapers, and using geometric shapes with multi-layered textures. When I’m not painting, I create mixed media collages and more recently small scale sculptures.
While I am a qualified graphic designer, my goal with my artwork is to deviate beyond the formal disciplines of graphic design and communicate something more personal and emotive to others who have the freedom of their own interpretation and, hopefully, appreciation.
I have tried to ignore fragility, inexperience and doubt and allow myself to experiment, be spontaneous and brave enough to begin an artwork with no final outcome in mind, but to recognise it when reached, so that the artworks create a life and story of their own.
The Landlines series originated and evolved from years of chasing the horizon on the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Albury every second weekend, as I travelled to see my children.
It was an emotive time and potentially a vacuum of time, except I spent much of it contemplating the landscape and all that it encompassed. I observed the division of land by nature, including water, vegetation and disasters, and the divisions created by man, including by planting, cultivating and building fences and roads. I also thought about the clash of outcomes forged between the two.
Having moved from Melbourne to the Victorian High Country, the series has advanced to encompass my feelings about my new home surrounded, as it is, by cascading valleys and perpetually shifting weather.
The series employs predominantly paint on canvass using a woven technique to create intertwined multi-layered textures, depicting the divisions of nature, weather and man.
The Trilines series is a range of abstract compositions representing three avenues of reflection and inspiration, namely Past Life, Present Living and Future Found.
It celebrates child-like behaviour full of abandon and hope, the process of looking upon past life experiences through older and more forgiving eyes, the appreciation of the here-and-now and the contemplation of a future coming to fruition.
Each of the three lines of reflection clash as I realise I am simultaneously son, self and father. Trilines depicts the connection backwards to my parents, presently to myself and forwards to my children and weaves though those complex relationships until they resolve themselves.
The series uses predominantly paint on wallpaper and uses the wallpaper itself to add layered colour and texture. The wallpapers used were handed down to me by my father, who is a painter and decorator by trade, renowned for his skill in hanging wallpapers and fabrics of every description.