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Interview with Anton Uildriks - his art and current exhibition

A few weeks ago Anton and his wife Jana visited our gallery after seeing the sign on the street. We began chatting and I discovered Anton is an artist. A few emails later and we are now holding an exhibition of Anton’s work.

I wanted to find out more about Anton and his art.

Anton started by telling me he had been painting since he was a young boy going out to the bush sketching with his dad. “Dad was a graphic artist. At that time we were living in Adelaide and dad designed wine bottle labels. But he also loved to paint landscapes around Adelaide. I would tag along and sketch while he painted.”

Anton and his family moved to Canberra when he was 8 years old and this has been home since then. He studied art at school followed by night classes at the School of Art.

I asked about other artists who had influenced him. “Spending so much time with dad it’s no surprise I also painted landscapes using acrylic on canvas. However, our styles are quite different,”

“I greatly admire the work of Brett Whiteley, Arthur Boyd and Picasso among others although they have not influenced my particular style.”

“What is the source of your inspiration to paint?”

Highland range(s)“I love going out camping with the family to our favourite spots between Tathra and Bermagui and the local Namadgi national park. Occasionally I get up around the Cairns area where Jana’s family lives. “I take landscape and wildlife photographs from which I create paintings.”

Anton has 2 styles of painting. “The first style is realism that I use for landscapes, the second style I use for animals is more interpretive capturing the spirit of the animal.”

“When I paint I am totally absorbed, I get in the zone and nothing distracts me.”

The paintings in this exhibition are scenes from around Tidbinbilla with an extra dash of colour from 2 kingfisher paintings. “I lived in Tidbinbilla for 10 years,” Anton said, “I was by myself at the time and it was a chance opportunity to live in an area that I loved so much. There were wombats and kangaroos at the front door and I was always walking the hills taking in the quiet beauty of the area.”

“Even though I have moved back into Canberra the family and I make regular trips out there and it is just as peaceful and beautiful as when I was living there.”

“And the kingfishers?” I asked. “That’s from one of my recent Cairns trip.”

“How do you decorate your home?”

“It’s eclectic”, Anton responded. “In terms of furniture it is modern with a couple of pieces in Chinese style. I also have my grandmother’s hutch that I love for the family connection. “

“There is both my and my father’s art on the wall along with the work of other artists.  Decorative pieces include Nepalese statues and thangkas I purchased on a trip there a few years ago.”

My final question. “And your favourite piece?”

“That would be a coffee table made from an ironbark plank I got in Bodalla and had dressed by Thor’s Hammer here in Canberra. It is sitting on concrete blocks.”

“I love it because it gets used every day and is where the family get together to chat and watch a movie.”

Anton’s exhibition is on display at Humble House until the end of June; opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 4pm.

Kingfisher