School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021
Wellington B. Gray Gallery
learned how to see in Vietnam.
I learned what to see at the National Gallery of Art. A kindred spirit, born in 1857, who spent his formative years as an English Merchant Seaman, wrote when he first encountered the Orient about the East of the Ancient Navigators, so old, so mysterious, resplendent and somber, living and unchanged, full of danger and promise. I understand the drama of that confrontation. Serenity does not exist without its opposite, chaos. It is that fusion or balance that animates my work. The National Gallery is a visual and cultural counterpoint to those experiences. The rigor and exhilaration of distant travel is one of life’s greatest teachers. In the past before one became a master, the journeyman artist traveled from place to place to study with and assist established masters. On courier trips over 30 years at the Gallery I have been able to sketch and study in detail many great works in museums of the world such as the Prado, Hermitage, Cairo Museum, and down in the excavated pits of terra cotta warriors in Xian. This has been a modern variation of the venerable guild system. The medium of my work is oil on bamboo and the essential content is the indigenous people of Southeast Asia. It has been said that where you lose your innocence there your heart remains.