Exhibition Introduction: 'Even Seahorses Get the Bends' by Phil Stallard from Peter Pinson OAM
For most of his career as a painter, Philip Stallard has been drawn to the theme of water.
Stallard's childhood was spent around the Hawkesbury River. Here, he enjoyed seeking out remote shelves of the orange-red Hawkesbury sandstone, and gazing down on the river - sometimes still and glistening, sometimes wind-ruffled, and occasionally dour and agitated. He relished the eventful junctions where river meets sky. Or where the pulsing river meets the lush but sometimes fire-ravaged bushland.
Later, one of Stallard's first periods of employment was at Sydney's Cockatoo Island Dockyard, where he was a Fitter in the Repair and Dismantling Unit. The hulls and the industrial repair facilities seemed a world of excitingly unfamiliar colours, letters, numbers, roughly scribbled notations, exposed-to-the-elements workshops, and abrupt contrasts of scale. The ships' carcasses had been scarred by time and by the battering of the sea. Stallard became attracted to the "terrible beauty" of decay, and to rust's intimations of ageing and mortality.
The paintings in this exhibition draw upon memories of those Parramatta River experiences, in muscular abstract terms.
Peter Pinson OAM
'Even Seahorses Get the Bends' from Phil Stallard opens at Cooks Hill Galleries Friday 10 February 6 – 8pm and continues to Monday 27 February 2017. If you cant make it to the gallery browse + shop the collection here or view the digital catalogue here.