In 1982 I went to the National Art school in Sydney; did a couple of years there under some of Australia's more venerable artists, Anne Thompson, John Peart, Keith Looby and others. On completion I moved to the Alexander Mackie College of the Arts for a post-graduate diploma (1985) in painting and printmaking where etching and lithography continued to fascinate and engage my time. Unfortunately the nitric acid involved in the etching process proved somewhat of a health hazard, so after burning a hot spot into my left lung I decided to concentrate on the only mildly toxic business of oil paints, and just so I wasn't completely obsessed with salubrious living, I continued using roofing bitumen (a core medium in etching too), for drawing and painting. 1986 -First solo show at the Ben Grady Gallery in Canberra. Quite well received with most of the honchos from the National Gallery coming in to have a look. A major piece bought by the art critic for the Canberra Times. 1987 -Two man print show at the Tamarind Gallery in Paddington, Sydney. Etchings and Lithographs. 1988 -Tour Central Australia in a four wheel drive, kitted out with all the gear for survival in the desert...60 litres of water, a bag of brown rice, gas cooker. Easel and paints. Only got lost once, but trusty vehicle kept going, over salt flats and indescribably empty and inhospitable landscape, along one of those tracks that could actually go nowhere. There are many such tracks in the bush, put in by geologists on mineral explorations. As you follow them, knowing this, confidence can ebb away, and you can sniff the curlings of your own sweet rotting death, unseen by another human soul. Out there in the vastness waste. Unnoticed and unmourned in a world where such sentimentalities are void. In the year of the Bicentenary of European colonisation, I thought it fitting to step into the heart of the land which I felt to be my own. I stopped in a pub way out west of nowhere, it was full of people, none of them was speaking English. I was a foreigner in what I believed to be my own land. A sobering moment in that dripping heat. The beer was ice cold and I had no trouble there. I had wanted to set up on some Aboriginal lands, paint, learn to speak the local language, Pitjanjajarra, but knowing little of the correct protocols, my request to the elders of the community (relayed through the office in Alice Springs) was turned down. Returned to the European enclave of the East Coast, moved to around Byron Bay. Winner of the annual Byron Bay Arts Classic. Solo show at the 'Network' brasserie/gallery. Sold volumes; a combination of the right price on the works and the venue, being a place where people hung out and drank heaps, got drunk, and just had to have that picture! Finalist in Amnesty International Art competition. 1989-1992 Got married, wife had son, did parenting. Full time. Winner Epicentre Art Prize- Byron Bay. 1993 HangUps in Brisbane & La Baguette also in Brisbane. 1994 Solo show at the Guest House - Byron Bay. 1995 Solo show- Secuumb Space, Brisbane. 1995 Group show- The Zoo, Brisbane."Visions of the Absurd in an Age of Reason". Resumed painting in 2000 with a new series based on an idea that came from Sid Nolan (before he died). The expat artist was asked what he thought'd be a good Australian flag. He said the Oz continental shape is unique and defines our island nation like no other image could... At this point I began to work towards a show themed on the exploration of identity and its interrelation with progress and growth. This dialectic seemed to contain a rich vein of material as finally in 2005 questions are being asked about sustainability, growth and progress. My interest is in how individual identity shapes and is shaped by these forces as each person's life becomes increasingly individualised and paradoxically more uniform. For the last few years I’ve migrated to an abstract expressionist approach allowing the ever- fecund unconscious to weave its magic. The dream-like nature of the works produced in this manner require a contribution from the viewer to create the meanings and associations only hinted and suggested which allows the viewer to own the interpretation and in some way have a sense that they have created the picture.
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