By Paul Perry
Exhibition Opening Friday 2 September 2016 6.30pm
Opening Speaker Rob Gutteridge
Artist Talk with Sheila Whitham
By Paul Perry
In early 2014 my wife and I set off on a nine month "around the world" journey of adventure, research and discovery. But to continue the discipline of Art School I chose to complement the travel with another challenge... to complete a drawing each day for the whole time we were away.
The resulting body of work, some 284 A4 drawings, forms the basis of this exhibition. These drawings reflect my own artistic journey over that period as well as the physical journey... places visited, trails trekked, experiences had, people met... lessons learnt, skills honed.
As we were travelling for an extended period of time we had to keep our luggage light. The art supplies were limited to an A4 sketch book and whatever drawing implements would fit into a small pencil case. The drawings at the beginning of the journey were simple sketches made with a felt tipped pen, usually done in-situ. Occasionally they would include a splash of colour... using watercolour pencils or the few tubes of watercolour paint I managed to squeeze into the case. While I had brought a small bottle of black ink with me which I used for ink washes, one stallholder in a Paris market convinced me to buy a pen, some nibs and a bottle of sepia ink to experiment with. This led me in to a new direction and also required better quality paper... and more drawing time!
As each sketch book filled up it was posted home and replaced. And so the journey continued until we returned to Australia to await the arrival of our first grandchild... the start of another journey.
Since coming home I became increasingly convinced of the exhibition potential of this body of work. The interest is in the journeying... the challenge of travel for more than nine months and the discipline of completing a daily drawing... especially as we packed a lot into most days.
Hopefully you will relate to the subject matter of the drawings... travel destinations, familiar landscapes, challenging weather conditions, and that exhausted feeling at the end of a busy day when all you can do is stare out the hotel window. And all this intermingled with glimpses of well known art treasures and faces of people that somehow seem familiar from your own travels. Each drawing has its unique story but they stand together to tell a much bigger story... of multiple journeys... and all in one direction.