The Unknowns brings together five prolific artists who have set aside their arts practice while they pursued professional careers and the business of everyday life.
Most have only rarely exhibited, some not at all. The Unknowns features Chris Pullin, Joan Peters, Richard Robison, Annie Kavanagh and Jo Thorpe.
Chris Pullin was born in England in 1947. He arrived in Australia in 1948 and lived on a farm near Kellerberrin and went to school there until he completed his junior certificate. Subsequently he went to UWA and then spent a career in the law as a solicitor, barrister, Queens Council and then Supreme Court judge. Towards the end of his career he began to dedicate more time to his art. He took up printmaking and became the President of the Printmakers Association of Western Australia and submitted a small number of works in group exhibitions. Between 2011 and 2017, he spent two weeks in Italy printmaking at the Il Bisonte Studio in Florence. He has not actively promoted his art through a gallery since 1975. This is the first time there has been a substantial public display of some of his accumulated works of art.
Joan Peters eclectic style mirrors her Eurasian heritage. Born in Malacca, an air hostess in the 1970s, Joan migrated to Perth where she became a restauranteur before studying creative writing and film and then a law degree. Peters enjoyed a lengthy and productive career as a film lawyer and executive producer. She was founding member of Be Kids Australia Inc., a charity working with disadvantaged children in Kenya and WA. 'I paint the moments that life conjures up. Art gives me a new daring that often surprises'.
Born in Sydney and educated in the public school system in NSW, Richard Robison completed a PhD at the University of Sydney and has worked as an academic and researcher on the politics and economics of Asia, including in universities and research institutes in Australia, Europe and Southeast Asia. "I have revisited drawing and painting after a hiatus of around 40 years during which time I was an academic and researcher in Australia, Asia, and Europe. I am inspired by the vast range of societies and places I have worked in and visited and attempt to look at these from my perspective though art. I am also driven by the complex challenges of drawing and painting themselves and the ways in which these can be used to present a distinct character of people and events".
English born, Annie Kavanagh is a photographic artist who lives and works on her farm, Roselyn (circa 1887), in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. She is the architect of the Roselyn Project. Annie studied illustrative photography at the Photography Studies College, Melbourne (1998/9) and is creating an art-based venue at Roselyn to share with like-minded creatives. Her floral art, reminiscent of Dutch Master paintings, is created entirely on her iPhone. Her work explores the cultural and environmental significance of flowers particularly those from colonial gardens. She is also a gardener and floral arranger.
The Alice Vases from the series Floral Portraits. "Alice is my muse. She is based on the first chateleine of our property Roselyn located in Spencers Brook, just up the road from York. She once walked through the rooms of the house and along the driveway and pathways of the garden. It is impossible not to feel her gentle guiding spirit. The Alice Vases is my own personal florilegium project recording the flowers I have grown in my garden. These vases record the passing seasons and the successes and failures every gardener can attest to. Not all will survive or thrive from one year to the next but they exist in perpetuity by virtue of modern digital photography and my love of them".
Jo Thorpe works as an art therapist and looks for meanings and expressions of internal processes. "I enjoy the fact that I can play with colours colours and shapes in my painting and focus on my external processes. In my paintings, I try to capture the light and beautiful colour combinations found in nature".