Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pictures from an Exhibition

The opening of Maurice (Maurie to his friends) Bardon’ s retrospective exhibition last Saturday was a great occasion to meet old friends, some of whom I had not seen for decades. They all look older now, but in general are still recognisable. The exhibition was at the Fitzroy Gallery in Fitzroy, the site of many of Maurie’s exhibitions in the past. It was an occasion for nostalgia and remembrance of our old friend Maurie.

Maurie died in 2005 at the age of 62. The cause of his death was mesothelioma. It was sudden and unexpected. He had been exposed to asbestos in his younger days in his work as a house renovator. and as the disease can lie dormant for many years, nobody, least of all Maurie, suspected that it would be the death of him. He was a lovely man, good looking and sweet natured with a droll sense of humour. He was also a talented painter.

He was self-taught and used house paint as his medium, which he applied five or six times then buffed back for the required effect. Picasso and Australian artist Donald Friend influenced his work. Egyptian art and Asian culture are also prominent in his paintings. The paintings have a charming decadence. His muse was Julia, who organised the exhibition. Julia and Maurie were an item twenty years or so ago and Alexis (now a young woman) was born of this relationship. Julia and Maurie remained good friends over the years and were obviously very close. Julia is one of the most beautiful women I have ever set eyes on, and even after all these years, she is still very striking.

Maurie never sold very many of his paintings during his lifetime, but it appeared on Saturday that several were sold. B bought one called “The Le Duce Hotel” so I’ll get to see it every day soon. I'll post a photo of the painting when it's hanging on our wall, as the photo I took at the gallery isn't very good.

He really wanted to buy the one pictured below, “(Rachael) Mother of Mothers” but it is Julia’s favourite so is not for sale.

This one is called “Women on the Beach” another of Maurie’s Egyptian influenced paintings.


The Fitzroy Gallery has a wonderful garden out the back full of amazing sculptures. The sleeping stone girl below has always been my favourite…


… though this imposing woman comes a close second.

The exhibition continues into next week so I hope for Julia and Alexis’ sake that more paintings are sold to cover the costs.

It was like old times. The majority of those in attendance were present at Maurie’s previous exhibitions. Some from the past regrettably are no longer with us, the vicissitudes of life having taken them away.

1 comment:

chiefbiscuit said...

The paintings - and the sculptures too - have an elegance about them that is very taking. I hope you get much enjoyment from the painting you bought. A wonderful artist and a tragedy that he died relatively young and before he had finished all he wanted to do too I expect.