“Time at easel is time stood still”
After being encouraged to leave the school grounds at just 15 (after going to school 43 days in my 14th year)… Rather than freedom and being my own person, I found that being emotionally and intellectually devil may care, I was missing at the “captains wheel“ and crashed on the metaphorical rocks of hopelessness, addiction and as time went on I became a real no hoper.
Through sheer luck, I found and hunted down better physical and emotional health after reaching my lowest ebb in my early 20’s.
I surfed the oceans and contemplated and searched for a purposeful future….A day at the local food and crafts market in a hippy town in South East Queensland I stood in front of a stall of pottery and the seed was sewn to start this myself … I did some classes in a nearby country town and a purposeful approach to work started, and an addiction to working to ideally scare away my mind’s constant chattering.
I truly fell in love with clay and made a humble living, enough to buy materials, make pottery for the very same market I saw the market stalls and go surfing.
“Some of the greatest joys of my life were the beginnings of my art career when I had nothing”
Working in clay opened my mind and my creative inner yearnings and I read books on any artist I could find. Parallel to the reading on artists opened my eyes to painting and that became what I considered a side gig but never dare dreamed it could become my main game.
Spending time with potters as I was then working in a pottery I realised how good these craftspeople were and I noted that by both potting and painting I wasn’t hitting heights in either. Well I sold everything I made and was complimented on both works, but, I wanted to be really good at one.
Painting was consuming my thoughts so I went to the dump amd threw away all my clay and pottery tools, sold my kiln and obsessed and concentrated on painting.
After decades I have now exhibited overseas in every continent and am represented in South Africa by Mark Read of Everard Read gallery, in Singapore by Jazz Chong from Ode to Art, in Japan by Rocky Dwgawa. I have been finalist in the Archibald prize a few times, in the Doug Moran a couple of times and other art prizes in Australia.
The first gallerist to take me on in Brisbane…Jules Verner-McKay of Latrobe gallery some 35 years ago I count to this day a friend…and now Leanne Pearce of Gallery One on the Gold Coast for some reason puts up with my antics and I see as a sister. I remember fondly and with great love, Chandler Coventry of Coventry gallery who gave me my first break in Sydney and became a dear friend and confidant.
In recent years have re-discovered ceramics and also explore seriously, sculpture, house renovation and decorating, fashion and I suppose you could say went full circle from being so lost and without a vision to being so motivated I have driven myself to a sort of creative madness.
That doesn’t worry me too much but at 63 I have my pre-creativity scars and I now have my scars from obsession and compulsion where I’d say I have broken most parts of myself, sanity included. I ride this roller coaster searching for unattainable balance and now it is an art obsession I have and I have so many new creative hurdles to overcome I wonder what the coming years will bring.
My divine wife Yuge, once a practicing lawyer, joined me on this adventure and she is unfortunately like me, a creative addict and the two of us seek to come out of this whole thing with sanity intact, we love to push things and if I’m going crazy with anyone it’s with her.
This approach is multifaceted, it’s a way of taking on larger art projects which serves what we’d call an adrenalin obsessed work / career. Interestingly this is being written from a burn out get away in a semi tropical area where we are trying to find a way to give us longevity in our creatve future.
It’s often a puzzle. We are certainly up for the challenges and feel blessed our life is so energetic and full of both demands and inspiration.
Theres a great song by Ian Drury. There ain’t half been some clever bastards.
Thats how Yuge and I both feel. Our influences, inspirations are many. We love music and both share that love and have very diverse musical tastes. We love nature.
We collect art like addicts and have so much and we recently spent 5 years fitting out the Old Castlemaine Gaol as a home for much of our collection.
The museum is a labour of love, a place to put our collection and once again it’s a mix between a proud project and another madness inducing never ending challemge and a creative dream.