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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Meet the Artist: The Creator Incubator’s Graham Wilson

A lot can happen in a year.

That’s the overarching sentiment of The Creator Incubator artist Graham Wilson’s 2020.

The past 12 months have posed many challenges for people across the country, for Wilson it cancelled an international holiday but meant he had more time to focus on his art.

“2020 was the year that our daughter was to graduate after four years at Tokyo University,” he said.

“Everything was booked when COVID-19 hit.

“Ruby’s graduation was cancelled and then our flights.”

With leave available and domestic travel still an option, Wilson and his partner Jane decided to visit Tasmania.

When they arrived, the state went into lockdown but they continued to travel through the countryside all the way to Cradle Mountain.

“With anxiety building as the world shut down around us, we found ourselves, on a crystal clear morning, at peace in the sacred landscape of Cradle Mountain and its reflection in Dove Lake,” he said.

“It was short-lived peace as we had to cut our trip short and flee home.”

The Wynne Prize 2021 finalist says the state’s incredible landscape inspired him to create a series of works.

“I made a small painting in home isolation and when I returned to The Creator Incubator, I began two larger portraits of Cradle Mountain,” he said.

“I completed a painting and a woodcut and entered them in the Glover Prize.

“My entries were unsuccessful and when you’re rejected from an exhibition it is easy to become despondent, but I fought that emotion and created a giant version of the woodcut to better express the grandeur of the landscape.”

Wilson carved the image over two plywood panels measuring 2.4 metres by 1.2 metres.

It was 4.8 metres wide in total.

Sadly, after beginning the project Wilson took another hit – his mum fell sick.

“Somewhere along the way my mother began to feel very ill and at about the mid-way point she died,” he explained.

“I felt compelled to complete the work – all my love and loss for my mother was directed into the piece.

“This work has now been selected for consideration in the Wynne Prize.

“I only wish I could share the news with my mum.”

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