From an early age I was always interested in art.
Growing up in Alice Springs in the early 1950s didn't offer any opportunity for art training. There were no art classes at
the local school. The only encouragement came from Jeffrey Smart, who as Fideus on the ship Argo, conducted a weekly
art class on the Argonauts, a national radio programme broadcast locally on 5CL.
Formal training began when I attended secondary school at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide where, under the tutorship
of Malcolm Gray , I was introduced to the history of the impressionists, the theory of colour and given my first lessons in
drawing. On leaving school I joined an advertising agency where in my first year I had the fortune to work with Sid Ball
until he turned his back on security and travelled overseas to study and become one of the world's foremost contemporary
artists. Encouraged by Malcolm Gray I had a spell on the committee of the Contemporary Art Society of SA .
The Jeffrey Smart retrospective at the Art Gallery of South Australia became the catalyst to rekindle my interest in
painting. Whilst he was the inspiration to begin painting I believe the person who influences me most is Edward Hopper.
Certainly, my career in graphic design also shows in my work as does a lifetime learning use of colour for effective
I'll leave it to others to comment on the merits or otherwise of my work and will explain here what I set out to acheive.
Primarily, I seek to portray light.
Whilst this was not the driving objective of some of my earlier work, I find it becoming increasingly important.
My images are mainly of unrushed urban orderliness, of modern urban life and feature architectural and functional
diversity. For my subjects I must find something that speaks to me, something simple and elemental. At the same time I
seek out locations that relinquish their dominance to become settings for personal experiences.
I don't set out to depict universal themes, but simply paint my impressions of what I see. I paint in a realistic style and will
continue to be interested in the play of sunlight on building exteriors or as it penetrates the interior of rooms - a reflection
of the influences of Smart and Hopper - but my work remains unaffiliated with any one school.
© 2015 Graham Woollard