Month: January 2015

Aspiring to the condition of music

Back in June I wrote a post called About Writing About Art. I had just heard an interview with the resident conductor of WASO, Asher Fisch. The last sentence of that post was “And remind me to play some music at the opening of my next exhibition.”

I’m delighted to announce that composer/guitarist Andrew Veivers is going to play at the opening of my next exhibition, in Hobart on 16th January. If you are not familiar with Andrew’s music, have a listen on his website,

As one reviewer wrote, “This guy must eat Gypsy hearts for breakfast…” How lucky am I that he will still be in Hobart following performances at the Cygnet Folk Festival!

Music has been very important to me during the last two years, while preparing the work for this exhibition. My painting method is slow and exacting. I find that if I play music while I work, I do not tire. The mark making, which involves a lot of repetition, becomes meditative. Time passes without my noticing. My best source of music is ABC Classic FM, because it saves me having to choose. I like surprises.

Sometimes, I can see the music in the work, the rhythm of it, the arc of the melody.

Favourite composer to paint by? J.S. Bach, no contest. But to celebrate the culmination of two years in the studio – Andrew Veivers, for sure.

It was English writer Walter Pater (1839 – 94) who wrote, “All art aspires to the condition of music.” I tend to agree. For my paintings to demonstrate structure and harmony and to evoke associations and emotions through abstraction, as music does, strikes me as a worthy aspiration.

There’s a lot going on in Hobart (festival capital of the known universe at this time of year), but for me the best gig in town will be at Handmark in Salamanca Place, 6 pm, 16th of January 2015. All welcome: see you there!