Warwick Art Gallery is showcasing the work of one of Warwick’s most accomplished painters in the Orange Wall until Saturday 22 August.
Thomas Benkendorff’s exhibition Reflections is a personal recollection of the places in Australia that have had an impact on his life with beloved wife Pat. Locations include the Warrumbungle Ranges in NSW and Phillip Island in Victoria as well as meaningful local places like Spicer’s Gap Road and the Darling Downs countryside.
Tom went to the National Gallery School (Victoria University) and studied painting under John Brack and Drawing and Printmaking under Fred Williams. Many artists today can only dream of being taught by such significant Australian artists.
His university journey continued and he achieved a post graduate degree in industrial design joining other artists at an artist’s colony in Victoria called Montsalvat. Montsalvat was founded by artist Justus Jörgensen, inspired by the villages of France. Despite the European vision, Montsalvat was created in a very Australian aesthetic from clay and stone. Montsalvat continues to offer art classes, studio places and short-term residencies to a wide variety of artists, experienced and aspiring.
Opportunities to participate in competitions, exhibitions and commissions eventually lead Tom to Queensland where he became the foundation Head of the School of Visual Art and Design at James Cook University in Townsville. Tom moved to Warwick in 2003 with his family and has enjoyed a productive, albeit quieter life here, still with art as an ever-present part of his life.
Tom’s love of self-education and new approaches to painting has manifested in his current work method which utilizes digital technology in the planning stages of his work. The thirteen paintings that are part of this exhibition have subtle colour compositions applied with relaxed brushstrokes. Each perfectly depicts the beauty of these memorable locations in Australia.
• Reflections – Thomas Benkendorff from now until 22 August 2020, Orange Wall Gallery.