Bruce Rowland | CHG Represented Artist

"It’s hard to make a past comparison with any Australian artist who has the diversification, depth of art training, skills and breadth of art interest Rowland possesses." Mark Widdup.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Bruce Rowland is the master; with hundreds of apprentices or past students paying tribute to his dedication to the arts and teaching over decades. They emphasize his unique abilities to communicate and instruct and acknowledge the depth of his art knowledge!

This could be no better be expressed than with quotes from Rowland’s past students writing thoughts of gratitude; ‘Thankyou for taking us to the Renaissance and back” and a more recent past student dating back to Bruce’s teaching days of the 1970’s “Thank you, I owe you a debt of gratitude for what you have taught me”.

As to his own art, Bruce says it’s a continuous art of learning. His desire for art education is lifelong and never tiring.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Since my retirement from full-time teaching in 2006 I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to the U.K. and Europe on four separate occasions. Each trip has been a voyage of discovery not only visiting new galleries and museums but also revisiting favourite sites from previous trips.

Whilst it is exhilarating to see the well-known masterpieces it is just as exciting to discover works by so called lesser artists. Artists whose work would have ranked as highly as any other artist of their period but have sadly been eclipsed by the works of artists considered fashionable by critics, historians and general public in the following centuries. Many had a limited output or died at an early age. Many have just been ignored. The list would be too extensive to include here but the quality of their work would assign many contemporary artists to the garbage heap.

Fortunately a large number of major galleries and museums now allow photography which has led to an extensive collection of photos which can be used as my reference for future paintings. Where photography is not allowed the trusty notebook and sketchbook is used with suggestions as to how to incorporate compositional ideas into my own work.

Currently my work is a combination of inspirations from these visits. I see myself as a “giant sponge” absorbing influences consciously and subconsciously from a vast time span including recent times. You need to know where you’ve come from in order to know where you’re going! There are sufficient ideas for works for years to come.

If I’ve achieved just a fraction of the quality and inventiveness of these past masters I will be satisfied.

CHG DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

Bruce Rowland is an enigma in today’s contemporary world of art! At a time where conceptual art receives a significant amount of attention - where is his place in art? A figurative painter who has studied art of the earlier periods he is contradicted in what he appreciates i.e. abstract Australian artists of the 1960’s and backwards. Namely from Olsen, Passmore back to the great European masters. He has seen trends and fashions of art come and go remaining true to himself and the honour of the tradition of the European art influence. His art today is focused on the figurative - nude and semi nude, still life and interiors.

It’s hard to make a past comparison with any Australian artist who has the diversification, depth of art training, skills and breadth of art interest Rowland possesses. Furthermore he has studied, taught himself, refined and developed a professionalism across so many mediums. Arguably there hasn’t been an artist since Norman Lindsay who has the scope of art skill across so many mediums as Bruce Rowland. Apart from that he is prepared to convey and share his artistic knowledge with anyone who shares an enthusiasm with art and art history.

ARTIST EDUCATION

1962-1966 Diploma in Painting & Drawing(ASTC) National Art School, East Sydney Technical College
1969-1970 Post Diploma in Art History, Dept. of Extra –Mural Studies, University of London. UK
1977-1978 Diploma in Education(TAFE) Newcastle College of Advanced Education

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Professional Experience (Educational)
1968-1976 Part-time Teacher, Newcastle Technical College
1976-1983 Full-time Teacher, Newcastle Technical College
1983-1986 Head Teacher, Gymea Technical College
1986-1987 Snr. Head Teacher, Wollongong Technical College
1987-1992 Snr. Head Teacher, Newcastle Technical College
1992-1995 Acting Head of Studies, Hunter Institute of Technology
1996-1997 Acting Faculty Director, Hunter Institute of Technology
1997-2005 Resumed position of Snr. Head Teacher, Hunter Institute until retirement
2006-2012 Part-time Teacher, Hunter Institute

In 1966, in final year of Art School, he was offered a position as a puppeteer with Peter Scriven’s famous “Tintookie” marionettes (Marionette Theatre of Australia) and later that year toured with the company through 12 Asian countries in 7 months.

Bruce has created over 150 marionettes and produced 10 productions during the 1970’s and 80’s.

Marionettes have been exhibited at Maitland City Art Gallery, Newcastle Region Art Gallery and Sydney Opera House.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

1979 Etchings, Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth
1980 Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth
1982 Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth
1983 Etchings, Tynte Gallery, Adelaide
Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Alexander Gallery, Wentworth Falls
1985 Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth
1987 The Art of the Puppet, Maitland City Art Gallery
1988 Paintings, Drawings, Etchings, Lithographs and Sculpture, Morpeth
Gallery, Morpeth
1991 Paintings, Etchings and Lithographs, Cooks Hill Gallery, Newcastle
1993 Etchings, Cooks Hill Gallery, Newcastle
1994 Arcadia Revisited, Paintings, Lake Macquarie City Gallery
1996 Survey Show, A Painter’s Journey, Maitland City Art Gallery
1999 Paintings and Drawings, Breewood Gallery, Leura
2000 Paintings and Drawings, Cooks Hill Gallery, Newcastle
2002 Paintings and Drawings, Breewood Gallery, Leura
2003 Paintings and Drawings, Breewood Gallery, Richmond
2003 Paintings and Drawings, Cooks Hill Gallery, Newcastle
2007 Survey Exhibition: In the Artist’s Studio, Newcastle Region Art Gallery
2007 Paintings and Drawings, Cooks Hill Gallery, Newcastle
2011 Paintings and Drawings, Cooks Hill Gallery, Newcastle
Paintings , Artarmon Galleries, Sydney
2014 Paintings and Drawings, Cooks Hill Gallery, Newcastle
2015 Paintings and Drawings, Artarmon Galleries, Sydney

GROUP EXHIBITIONS AND PRIZES

Various since 1972 - 2015
2017 Manning Art Prize, Finalist
2017 Gosford Art Prize, Finalist

COLLECTIONS

Port Stephens Shire Council
University of Newcastle
Hunter Institute
Maitland City Art Gallery
Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle
Private Collections in Australia and Overseas

COMMISSIONS

1980 Edition of Etchings for Newcastle Region Art Gallery Society
1987 Set Designs for joint Hunter Orchestra / Australian Opera Production of
Puccini’s “La Boheme”
2004 Commedia Masks, Drama Dept., Newcastle Grammar School
2005 Painting “Christ the King”, Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle
Extensive - Private commissions of the figure, nude and still life!