When I interview interiors experts they often say to buy the pieces you love and they will naturally go together with what you have. I hope the same holds true for art because I have quite varied tastes. From the bold strokes of Joel Dickens to the geometric colours of Gemma Smith, and slightly out-of-step with the others, the refined brushstrokes of Darren Gannon's works. He recently exhibited at the Libby Edwards Galleries.
Which five words best describe you? Loyal, impulsive, impatient, passionate, determined.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was cleaning the cafe in the local shopping centre, my wife tells me that I am annoyingly fastidious, perhaps this is a hang over from this. My art career almost came about by accident, I was looking at it as a hobby initially however the more I painted the more I fell in love with it. Now it boarders on obsession, if I don't have a picture to work on I get very restless. It is great to find something that you are truly passionate about.
What’s your proudest achievement? My proudest achievements are my marriage to Martha and the recent arrival of our son Aston. These things are what puts everything else in life into perspective.
What’s been your best decision? Changing careers, it is never to late.
What was the starting point for this exhibition? I became fascinated with the art of topiary and the more I investigated it the more I discovered how obsessed people were with it, and the dedication and patience it must take to create these sculptures. I like the idea of creating these things purely for their own satisfaction, as many times they are hidden away behind walled estates, out of sight of the general public. There is also something quite quirky about some of the forms, especially giant topiary squirrels!!
Who inspires you? I have a group of friends who are wonderful artists whom I often go on camping trips with to paint directly from the environment, our most recent trip was to Alice Springs. They are a constant source of inspiration and knowledge.
What are you passionate about? ART!! (I know that is probably stating the bleeding obvious), Australian painters in particular. Fred Williams, and Lloyd Rees in my opinion were equal and in some ways superior to many of their international contemporaries. I think there is such an exciting new generation for artist coming out of this country it make the future of contemporary Australian art look rosy. More funding from government and the private sector would be nice!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Don't pursue anything that you are not completely committed to. My father once told me that if you are not happy or passionate about your occupation you will never be good at it, how right he was!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would like to meet Brett Whiteley. I am not a huge fan of his work, however, his life did sound fascinating. Also he had such an intense personality, sharp wit and vast knowledge, it would make an interesting if somewhat intimidating meeting.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? This is going to sound cheesy but life is pretty good at the moment however with a wonderful new son its hard to feel anything but joy. To continue to build my painting career is an ongoing dream and of course improve steadily from where I am at the moment.
What are you reading? I am reading a couple of artist biography's at the moment one on William Delafield Cook the other on Rick Amor, and way to many design mags.
Images courtesy of Darren Gannon and Libby Edward Galleries