My work relates to landscape, not in the usual sense of copying nature, but the landscape our society creates. Compositions are derived from structures, surfaces and textures left in the ever-changing wake of continuous progression and replacement. Memories too play a large part, as I attempt to evoke a sense of place in almost all of my imagery. The subject for work ranges from redundant mining areas, such as the old shale mine at Glenn Davis in the Capertee Valley, or the gold fields of Hill End, to the weathered terrace houses in the inner Sydney suburbs such as Balmain, with their layers of over-painting that suggest a nostalgia for a time gone, but not forgotten.
My fascination with mine-sites started at an early age. As a child I lived for five years at Glen Davis. This experience left me with a sense of wonderment and awe at the magnificence and majesty of the shale oil mine and refinery, which dominated the vista at Glen Davis. During this time, I also travelled with my father and his mates, to various towns and mine-sites within the region, whilst they hunted and trapped Rabbits (Our diet, for much of the time that I lived at Glen Davis, consisted, more often than not, of rabbit, mushrooms, and bread and dripping, with the occasional piece of fruit, procured by devious means, from the local orchard).
Many of the places we visited on these excursions, such as, Sofala, Hill End and Kandos, also left me with indelible memories. I have re-visited these areas on many occasions since leaving Glen Davis, and am always amazed at the way, memories of recent sojourns to these sites, permute with childhood memories once I’m back home, working in the familiar territory of my studio. And despite my intentions to the contrary, much of the resulting imagery is often resolved only through a combination of elements relating to both the past and the present.
Whilst my fascination with mine-sites stems from my childhood days, as an artist, I feel that there is more to my connection with this subject. There always seems to be more than just the visual happening. Something more elusive, something “beyond”, that I am driven to interpret.
Garry Foye, 2008
- Garry Foye
Born in Sydney 1946. Lives & works in Sydney
1994 Bachelor of Visual Arts – Sydney College of the Arts/University of Western Sydney
1991 Associate Diploma of Fine Art – Liverpool College of TAFE
Prizes and Awards
Garry Foye has been an exhibiting finalist in numerous art prizes including the following
Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize
Dobell Drawing Prize
Kedumba Acquisitive Drawing Award
Doug Moran Portrait Prize
Blake Prize for Religious Art
Salon Des Refuses
Gallipoli Art Prize
Archibald Portrait Prize
2014 Capertee Reflections, Robin Gibson Gallery
2012 Driven to Abstraction, Two-Person exhibition with Carole Corrie, Muswellbrook Regional Art Centre
2008 Site-Specific, Robin Gibson Gallery
2005 Remembering Capricorn, Robin Gibson Gallery
2003 New Abstract Paintings and Works on Paper, Robin Gibson Gallery
2001 More Balmain Bits, Robin Gibson Gallery
2000 Balmain Bits, Robin Gibson Gallery
1999 Mine-site Reflections, Nowra Galleries, Nowra
1999 New Paintings”, Sergio Sill Fine Arts Gallery, Kariong
1997 Capricorn Re-visited, The Private Gallery, Sydney
1995 Landscapes, Mines, Memories & Other Things, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1994 Observations and Memories, University of Western Sydney, Macarthur
1994 Recent Works, University of Western Sydney, Macarthur
2012 Contemporary Australian Drawing #1, by Dr Janet McKenzie. Macmillan Art Publishing 2012
2012 Contemporary Australian Drawing – 20 Years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing 1993 to 2012, Published by the Art Gallery of NSW
2008 Josephine Tovey, Open Gallery – Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald 7th June
2003 Michelle Fernandes, Sydney Morning Herald, Domain Events, Page 3, 29th May
The Kedumba Collection of Contemporary Australian Drawings – Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, Portrait Collection – Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery – Maitland City Art Gallery – Singleton Civic Art Collection – Blacktown City Council Collection – Liverpool City Council Collection – Fairfield City Council Collection – Uniting Church of Australia – University of Western Sydney, Macarthur – Muswellbrook Shire Council – Westway Bus and Coach Service – Szabo and Associate Solicitors – Fairfield Festival of the Arts Acquisitive Collection – Cessnock Civic Art Collection – HowSten Propriety Limited Collection – Ford Land Company Pty Ltd – L.A. Kennett Enterprises – South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE – Justice (Ret) Roderick Pitt Meagher Collection, and other private and corporate collections in Australia and Europe.