Painter, Sculptor, Printmaker, Tutor
Artist Talk at Chisholm TAFE
Philip was born in the United Kingdom and his family had a history in mining and farming (similar to my ancestors who came to Australia). He was sent off to boarding school as a child and I got the impression that he didn’t take to it. In 1976 as a 17 year old his family moved to Australia where Philip enrolled in a TOP year at RMIT. I understand what this course was as I participated in the same one at Caulfield in 1978, only I didn’t finish mine. Philip however, was a bit smarter and went on to complete his course and to study the Victorian College of the Arts, completing a 3 year diploma.
Philip has been exhibiting since the 1980s both in group exhibitions and solos. He has called on his love of history and other cultures as well as history of his homeland and decoration and symmetry from ancient cultures and those of the middle and far east. His travels over the years have left him with a wealth of memories and mementos to use in his creation of ever changing series’ of artworks.
The role of father, son, partner and artist have influenced his paintings and his interest in the grey areas of social issues and the world around him are used as inspiration for the sometimes very intricate and elaborate pen works that make up his most recent pieces.
We were treated to seeing works in various mediums including sculptures and prints, showing Philip’s wide range of abilities. Subjects were sometimes humorous other times moving or thought provoking. Some were more realist, especially the oil paintings which is a shame that he no longer produces due to allergies to the paints. I think these were my favourites.
Philip’s career is a great example of how artist’s can spread their wings to take on public art projects, even including the floral clock in Melbourne and a tram. He is still exhibiting and producing a huge amount of work as well as teaching. This is really inspirational stuff, it shows us that we can make a future for ourselves in the arts if we are willing to apply ourselves.
Although I may not paint or draw like he does, I admire Philip for his dedication, skills, creativity and for the kind and approachable tutor that he is. He has been very encouraging and is a fantastic listener. He is also a prolific practising artist. He gave a professional and enjoyable presentation and it was a very interesting talk. For that I thank him.