Artist in Residence: Wade Taylor

Why did you become an Artist?

I didn’t really have a choice!  Seems if you have some creative energy it will find its way out of you eventually. For many years after high school, I had a career in a field that was enjoyable enough, but ultimately not rewarding. I decided to leave and study Fine Art at university. It was a huge lifestyle change but it felt crucial at that moment. We are all creative in some way but some artists really need to explore that side of themselves more fully, it turned out to be a real drive for me.

Has it always been your passion?

Growing up I was always making art and was encouraged to make it, I was certainly known for my passion for visual art. For a long period, I put it to one side to explore different passions such as music, but ultimately I returned to visual art, realising I had a better eye than a better ear!  However, any creative pursuit is not wasted. I maintained a lot of the free-form expression and improvisation associated with musical forms and incorporated it into my painting approach

Tell us a little about your career as an artist

After leaving university I dived more seriously into painting, having mainly concentrated on different forms of visual and digital art throughout university. I managed to organise an exhibition with a close friend and artist that centred around the idea of recreating the life and world of a stranger on Instagram. The show was very successful and gave me the momentum to continue painting. The following year I had a solo exhibition, and have now had 5 in total including gallery representation and getting work into some major public and private collections. I have also been involved in many art awards most notably being a finalist in the 2019 Lester prize at AGWA.

Tell us a little about your style of art

My style is really defined by 3 things: my use of colour, my loose gestural mark-making, and my subject matter. I use a lot of highly saturated and unnatural colours alongside naturalistic colour, almost in an impressionistic way. This gives my work a surreal and jarring quality. Most of my work is about the Australian landscape, in particular the familiar yet unsettling quality to Perth and its suburbs. My subject matter often includes objects and scenes you wouldn’t normally see in traditional landscape painting, including wheelie bins, skip bins, shopping trolleys and wrecked cars.

Who is your favourite artist?

This seems to vary. I really enjoy Peter Doig’s handling of paint and the sense of stillness and strangeness in his works. But I would say ultimately Sidney Nolan is my favourite artist. I love the immediacy and scope of his output, his free approach to experimentation and his use of abstraction within the figurative genre. He seemed to tap into the dark parts of the Australian psyche and the Australian myths and stories like no other artist I have found. Think, the Ned Kelly series.

What do you hope to bring/impart to our girls?

I really want the girls to challenge their own ideas of what painting can be. Beyond loosening up their style and approach I wish to leave the girls with a sense of the mystery and excitement that can be found in all great paintings, embracing chance and accident, and accepting the idea that there are no such things as mistakes within the artistic process. We can all learn from what could be considered our ‘mistakes’. Accepting this will hopefully allow the girls who continue with art to lose that very common fear of ‘starting’, allowing them to just make stuff!

Scroll to Top