Friday, January 20, 2012

Visiting FRANK MERCHANT - artist

Frank at home
Before I left Sydney twelve years ago to move to Queensland I belonged to an art group called 'H12'.  The title came from our connection through art school at Hornsby TAFE college.

We met monthly for lunch and some creative play such as drawing each other, or visiting exhibitions, and exhibited our own work in various galleries across Sydney.

All female, other than our token 'bloke' Frank, we had a wonderful connection... and still do... tho' we have each gone in different directions in the intervening years.

A recent call from Sydney asked if I could return briefly for Frank's 80th birthday (my how the years roll on).  Could I what ?  Of course I could!

The few remaining 'core' group all duly arrived at Frank's house armed with food and drink ready to celebrate the life of this prolific, and  much under-rated artist.

Deb V H , Me, Frank, Chris, Jen, Rhonda, Deb A, Shirley
Frank at 80
Frank has always been dedicated to his art and works daily in his studio that is packed to the rafters with the most amazing, colourful, and vigorous work. Tho' mostly acrylics, he often uses ink and pastels for drawings casually piled high on chairs... like these...

We couldn't wait to spread them on the floor for a better look. 

Chris sorting out the works
This work, on four sheets, was an absolute winner. (pardon the photography)


Frank is the most modest and unassuming person. but so talented.  It has always been a surprise to us all that he is unknown, but he does not make an effort to show his work.

His friend, photographer Jozef Vissel has documented lots of it on a web page. Jozef is a well-known photographer here in Australia, with much work archived in the Mitchell Library.

click HERE to see it.

We were each invited to select a work from the pile on the chair to take away with us.  How generous!  Shirley got the above and I got a wonderful piece called "the Manly Bowlers" that I need to uncurl before I can photograph... sorry... will do soon.

Why oh why some gallery hasn't picked him up is amazing!  If anyone wants to pass this on to a gallery owner please do so. I will be canvassing galleries that I know,  and hope that someone can see the merit in this enormous body of work.

1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely lovely and festive post dear Jo!
    Frank certainly wears his eighty years VERY well indeed!
    Not only is he very talented but a generous soul as well!
    Reading this really put a smile on my face
    thank you as always for sharing!