Being an admirer of Jon Cattapan’s artwork for quite some time, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity today to hear him speak about his processes. The QUT Art Museum often has artist speakers on a Saturday morning after an opening, and although I live an hour West of Brisbane it is always worth the trip.
Last year I was present, at different times, to hear other well known Australian artists such as Judy Watson, Lawrence Daws and Mandy Martin speak at this Museum. These were all enlightening and intimate talks and today was no exception.
Jon Cattapan’s exhibition works were related to his time as an Australian war artist in East Timor in 2009 and he was friendly and generous and offered an insight into a prolific and engaging career. Jon talked about painting being in the land of happy accidents and also that one should never pass up an opportunity as participating will inform and impact on creative work.
Commenting that while he didn’t usually plan his paintings to the degree he did with this work Jon said that the physical act of painting always takes him somewhere else. The idea to use the nightscape for this work, and the concept of green from the night vision goggles, produced an amazing vibrancy. I was so pleased to be seeing these paintings in real life.
The overall impressions I have gleaned from listening to artists of this calibre is that they pursue, with great passion, a vision that is very focused and committed. They are deserving of the acclaim they receive from the art world. They are all prolific and I love the fact they all work with painting mediums.
There is a catalogue available titled Perspectives which includes the two war artists in the exhibition, the other being eX de Medici. I also love the book I own, available from books shops, titled Possible Histories written about Jon Cattapan’s art career history by Chris McAuliffe. The exhibition runs until the 24th June at QUT Art Museum at Gardens Point Campus, 2 Goerge St Brisbane.