The Wickham Schools

Gavin Fry

39345

Artist Statement: These two 19th century school buildings for primary and infant children seem strangely out of scale with the humble portside suburb of Wickham. They tell of a time when education was seen as a great community good and evidence of an investment in the long term future of the community. Quite grand in form and style, they must have been quite forbidding on first acquaintance for the little kids of Newcastle.

My current work is in many senses illustrative, with an emphasis on colour and design.
I take particular inspiration from the thoughts of the 1930s American ‘Precisionist’ painter Charles Sheeler, who wrote …“I had come to feel that a picture could have incorporated in it the structural design implied in abstraction and be presented in a wholly realistic manner.” My pictures have recognisable and familiar subjects, but are in no way photographic, rather taking a lead from aspects of cubism, graphic design and poster art.

Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 61 x 121 cms
Date: 2017
Condition: New

Director's Statement: Gavin Fry has worked in Australian art for more than 50 years, but only recently has gone full circle to the place where he started, as a practicing painter, fresh out of art school in the late 1960's. In a long career he took many directions, seeking out new experiences and forms of expression After teaching at secondary and tertiary levels, Gavin took to museum work as an art curator and museum director. As a direct result of that work he has become one of Australia’s best known and most prolific writers on art and history, with more than 20 books to his credit. A lifetime of looking at, and writing about art has taken him back to where he started, painting and drawing the world around him in a distinctive and highly personal way.

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