Ted Hillyer

22 April – 14 May 2014


Ted Hillyer

Passing Yacht 26×26cm oil on board

about the artist

Ted Hillyer
Postcards from the North Coast

Opening Tuesday 22 April 6-8pm
22 April – 14 May 2014

Artist Statement

“… all creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place…” D.H. Lawrence

When I left Sydney in 1962 I was naively emulating those great artists, the post-impressionists, who had found they could best develop their art away from the distractions of the Paris art world. For me, living in the city, teaching there and making only brief excursions into the bush had become unsatisfactory. I wanted a closer, deeper connection with nature.

The majority of Australian artists were following a succession of American styles: abstract expressionism in the 50s and 60s, followed by minimalism, colour field, pop art and photo realism. Painters were paddling desperately to catch the next big wave. It all seemed repetitive and bland. I felt that my connection to nature was more important than the pursuit of innovation. The challenge was to express my response to the world around me. I became increasingly drawn to forms of realism, especially the landscapes of Streeton, Roberts and Gruner (who probably painted on the hills around my home). There was a brief interest in the formalism of fred Williams but then I discovered the work of the great American artist Edward Hopper. This opened my eyes to a new range of subjects that encompassed small seaside towns and the people in them.

These themes have sustained my art for the past thirty years. Although art is international, I think there will always be an audience for paintings that express the sprint of a particular place

- From the catalogue for Ted Hillyer’s survey exhibition at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery in 2010

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