Conversations On Creativity

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Art and memory

Peter Finlay and Bruce Daniel yarn about the visual artist’s creative process and how memory can be used creatively.

Picture or painting? Representation or abstraction? From life or from imagination? These are the questions that recur when Peter Finlay talks about his artmaking.

Edwin Revisited

I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Edwin Wilson’s latest (last, according to Edwin!) solo exhibition, Mullumbimby Revisited. The show was opened by SMH art critic John McDonald, who gave some really interesting perspectives.

One thing is for sure – it will definitely be his last exhibition at Artarmon Galleries – the building is up for sale. It’s played host to a long list of great artists over its 55 years in operation. The building itself is a bit of a time-warp – worth getting along to see it.

Not to mention Edwin’s paintings: about 70 works in total, amounting to a retrospective of sorts.

Remembering Bill Priest

My brillant, beloved uncle, William Priest, passed away in 2006. Today is his 92nd birthday. Bill was the closest thing to a father-figure I ever had (my own father passed away when I was an infant). He was tall, smart, funny, loving and had a killer hand-shake – what more could a kid want?

Edwin Wilson Painter-Poet

It seems a little hard to believe that I recently spent two hours with Edwin Wilson, septuagenarian painter and poet, talking at length about his life and art, wholly unaware that he carried with him a terminal cancer diagnosis.

The Universe and Dana Lundmark

About four years ago, portrait artist Dana Lundmark began playing with clay.

‘I’d had no training at all,’ she explains. ‘I was just sort of playing with blobs of clay. Pretty much straight away a human figure formed. I guess that happens a lot, do you think?’

I shrug my shoulders.

In praise of space

While this blog may at first seem a bit tangential to the matter of artistic expression, it’s actually pretty close to the core. We’re talking about living a life with enough space to step away from stress, let the mind roam free and bring imagination and creativity back into play – and without guilt. We’re talking about the problem of work. And who better to guide us than Bertrand Russell?

David Miller – ensemble pianist

My first encounter with pianist David Miller was from the depths of the bass section of Sydney’s Taverner Consort of Voices in a suburban church hall in the early nineties.

He was attacking a torrid passage when one or two ivories – possibly stuck down specially for the occasion – came flying off the piano’s keys and clattered to the hardwood floor. But he was unfazed, leaning forward, eyes glued to the score, with a half-smile, equal parts concentration and joy. It was as though the disintegration of the piano was half-expected, almost necessary, in order to magnify the thrill.

Laughing Boy

Waking in the wee hours with the feeling that I don’t really fit a human world whose agenda seems to have nothing to do with me, nor humanity. The phrase ‘lost boy’ comes to mind.

Musing on the material

[Harmonious proportions] arouse, deep within us and beyond our sense, a resonance, a sort of sounding board which begins to vibrate. An indefinable trace of the Absolute which lies in the depth of our being. This sounding board which vibrates in us is our criterion of harmony. This is indeed the axis on which man is organised in perfect accord with nature and probably with the universe.

Le Corbusier

Interview – Mary May Simpson

Artists turn up where you least expect them. They’re hiding under rocks. In this instance she was right next door, visiting her family, when we dropped in for a barbie (pre-COVID, of course).

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