Last night I found myself on google maps looking at street view revisiting the town I grew up. So much had changed since I left.
It was a small countryside town, with patchy yellow grass from the drought, a small outdoor swimming pool and a yearly town show (for those outside of Australia, its pretty much a town fair).
I’d spent my whole childhood there, arriving when I was 4 and leaving when I was 19. It was also the location of my first studio.
Somehow my mum had heard that someone was selling a beat up caravan in town for something like $200, it wasnt roadworthy and I think they just wanted it off their property. We bought it with the idea of me moving into it as a bedroom but it worked better as a studio.
I took the bed out and replaced it with a table. The caravan was cramped and tiny so this gave me some much needed space inside. All the cupboards and draws were stuffed with various art supplies that I’d collected from highschool and wherever I could find them. There was also a “U” shaped couch to the rear of the caravan. I turned it into a bed by filling the gap with milk crates and throwing a mattress on top. I’d paint in that studio until I’d have to sleep, then I’d wake up and keep painting.
One of the best parts of the whole setup was the remoteness. Our neighbours had big property with cows so I didn’t have to worry about them. I’d play my music loud and yell along at the top of my voice as I’d throw brushmarks at the canvas in time with the music.
It was cold in winter and hot in summer. In winter I’d be wearing sweaters and track pants that were covered in paint and in summer I’d be in nothing but my underwear with the door open. I wish that I took photos of that setup. It was so chaotic but I haven’t had anything close to it since. At the time I was kind of embarrassed by it. It was small, cramped and pretty messy most of the time and I was comparing it to artists that already had an established practice. Looking back, there was something really special about it. I made quite a few paintings there that I’m still happy with today and they came out so effortlessly.
a couple of paintings I found from around 2012-2014 during my time there.
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