Michael Parker answers questions we put to him about himself and his art in our latest blog at ArtChat. AC: You spent some of your early years in Europe observing the masters, what are some of your best memories?
MP: Viewing many European galleries was a great experience. I cycled twice around Europe camping along the way. I just loved this form of transport. Cycling allowed me to stop when, and where ever I chose. I could smell the smell, hear the sounds, and take interesting trails that I may have missed had I travelled by car or train.
AC: You have a lot of experience with different mediums, do you have a favourite?
MP: I love all of them, I really do. However, if I was only allowed one it would be Encaustic Wax. I find its translucency, and capacity for layering and etching, really exciting qualities.
AC: Your work in this exhibition is multifaceted (e.g. recycled timber and copper), how important is the element of texture to you? How do you think it affects the viewer’s experience?
MP: It’s very important in this series because I’m trying to depict the side of an old boat. The textures of wood and copper play an important role. People really enjoy and appreciate this when they understand the reasoning behind it.
AC: What are your favourite three art movements and why?
MP: I enjoyed the Pop Art of Warhol in the 80’s. I also, with no direct influence that I’m aware of, became a screen printer in the 80’s, and did that as a job for 15 years. This year I’ve started buying screen printing supplies again. I’m looking forward to incorporating these materials into my work soon.
The Neo-Impressionism of Jean-Michel Basquiat is another 80’s artistic influence. Basquiat is my all time favourite artist – what a legend.
I must mention that I loved the traditional work my mum would paint. She produced land and sea scapes, in oils on canvas. Growing up, watching and smelling her use oils to paints still one of my strongest memories – she inspires me to this day. God bless my mum!
AC: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
MP: Too easy! I once kayaked the 7th largest river in the world that being our very own Murray River, solo, over 2500 km.
Michael Parker will be exhibiting at the Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill throughout April 2015 alongside two prominent contemporary male artists Dan Mason and Warren Salter in the exhibition "All Afloat".