The featured Artist at The Gallery in Mogo until 5 December is Tomakin painter Kevin Ward.
Kevin was born in the wheat field area of WA and developed a passion for the sea when he and his family moved to the coast. He says “I learnt to love the smell and colours of the sea and the sound of waves breaking onshore.” From this his paintings have a recurring theme of dry lands and sea.
From the coast he and his family headed inland again to Pinjarra. At school, instead of joining the metalwork and woodcraft classes, Kevin gravitated to the painting and drawing classes. From this schoolyard deviation it was inevitable that somewhere in the future he would be making art a part of his life.
Kevin spent six years as a panel beater before moving east where he worked for Myers for a number of years. Finally he gained a job with Qantas as a flight steward, travelling the world for the next 27 years.
During this time he spent three years based in Mexico City where he began to study painting and crafts and more often than not, painting out in the desert.
Kevin moved to the South Coast over 16 years ago from the Southern Highlands, living firstly in Guerilla Bay. Another twist in Kevin's life saw him travelling Australia towing a purpose built caravan, he eventually settled in Tomakin where he has established his studio.
Kevin has won many prizes with his stunning, large ink and acrylic canvases.
He says, “I love the fluidity and flow of the inks and acrylics and the added textural effects that can be gained by other additives”.
These effects can be seen in ‘Nature’s Causeway’, a large seascape diagonally split by a sandbar where the wash of a strong current drags ocean waters into the calm, blue waters of a reef bound lagoon.
The arid lands of his origins haven't been forgotten either, in another canvas, ‘Vegetation Line’, Kevin shows the desert out past the tree line and beyond. With its mixes of ochres, browns and oranges against a pale, aqua sky, it captures the sense of both emptiness and yearning that often come from these places.
You can see both these paintings at The Gallery.
The Gallery is a co-operative venture of CABBI, a society open to local arts and crafts practitioners. People interested in finding out more about CABBI should drop in to The Gallery or phone 02 4474 2243.