dazzled. I wasn’t disappointed. There was a massive array of work on display, which attracted a large crowd. Seen lurking in the distance was Paul Borg, ex VU teacher, the enigmatic Louise Hall, current VU teacher but the mercurial Peter Burke was nowhere in sight! Perhaps still frantically installing the Graduate 2015 VU Exhibition?
The work was varied, innovative and skillful. Of particular interest were the large canvases, of either acrylic or oil paint, placed onto stretchers, displaying a variety of subject matter and painting styles. Several were figurative and realistic, but my favourites were abstract compositions, executed in a very painterly fashion, employing a bold colour palette. It is a method I have adopted in my own artistic practice in the latter half of the year, specifically following my Detroit field trip. My canvases were not stretched as I worked spontaneously off a roll of canvas I bought for my entry into the Basil Sellers Prize.
Today our Victoria University Artspace class, visited Paul Borg‘s studio. Based at home, in St Albans, he runs a workshop and studio out of his converted garage. The yard and surrounds are a plethora of found objects, recycled items and gathered paraphernalia. I got lost several times enroute, the VW’s nose not used to being pointed in a westerly direction.
Inside the studio boasts a cornucopia of work. Vast, skilfully executed oil paintings of his, and surrounding backyards, local landscapes, religious icons, and unique portraiture. An exemplary brushman, he taught at VU Flinders Campus for many years, and showed us a series of drawings he completed on his daily train commute. Application to his craft, long working hours, self discipline, and inspiration from unlikely sources, are all building blocks of his creative practice.
An informative Q&A session rounded off the interview, and we left his studio feeling privileged to be granted an expose to his work, specifically the family portraiture, which comprises a large part of his creative practice.