Over the years I have travelled to many parts of Australia, which I treat as my own backyard.
I lived and worked in Sturts Stony Desert for a six week residency connected to University NSW (COFA) as part of the Masters program. Initially, when settling into my desert home I back-packed into the little abode, but as time went on and I needed food and other supplies, I bought a wheel barrow and wheeled it for two hours to get them. The desert was a raw and lonely place to work, but a beautiful and spiritual land where I worked on doing etchings, lino-cuts, paintings and drawings.
This is a little place with great fishing at the top of the Gulf of Carpentaria; it is a raw and very beautiful land. I worked mainly in pastels and paint, while the local aboriginal people took my son Patrick crocodile hunting to give me a break.
I lived in the Northern Territory for a few years, it is a difficult memory, but I loved the beautiful land and her indigenous people. Most of my art making was connected to the land and was primarily painting. I was a high school Principal at the time as well as a practising artist
I spent several years visiting the centre on an annual basis as my sons ashes are scattered there. I love the red land and the openness of the desert. I think every spot along the way, Coober Pedy, Broken Hill, Alice Springs all became little homes to me each year. I did an annual exhibition each year from my journeys to the red centre.
My time in Albany, Western Australia was a fully funded arts residency through Vancouver Arts Centre, with a brief to develop a mural of the icons of Albany. I placed an advertisement inviting people to take me to their favourite local icon, and to be part of drawing groups in the local paper and the gallery news. Every day I was invited to go out to a new place, I learned so much from the local people through their eyes and, one of my great memories was when a group Noongar women packed a picnic and took me out to the ochre pits where we (the women) painted in silence. All of the Albany community shared stories with me and this was wonderful inspiration for the mural.
During 2011 I have been getting to know many regional art galleries throughout Queensland that I am connected to for exhibitions and workshops booked for 2013. Hervey Bay is a favourite stop of mine as my daughter lives there and it will be my base during my year in Queensland touring regional galleries. The ocean is beautiful, I love the beach ... the patterns on the sand and all of the little surprises one can find on the beach.
Check out my 2013 Regional Gallery tour map for Queensland, is there anything I should be seeing/experiencing? Do you have a story to share with me?
For all Artwork enquiries, please contact Chris Harrison.