• Tillian Clegg

    New South Wales

    Tillian Clegg
    The beauty and intricacy of the natural world has fascinated me for as long as I can remember and has stimulated and inspired all my journeys in art and life. Whether barefoot in the high Himalaya or alone on a small boat in the wide Pacific I’ve always turned to art for solace. The studio is my home, I have no other. The cave, the forest, the Valley of Winds, the inner city loft, the mahogany cabin of a wave tossed ketch, the little garden chalet at my mothers home – these are the many and varied workshops of a restless, reckless soul.
    • Artist Statement
      • Founded in modernist traditions my practice touches upon rites of desert aboriginal body painting, Indian celebratory ritual and mediaeval divinity adornment. Works are constructed on site during lengthy sessions of immersion in the process of painting and ‘the happening of place’. The exploration of my chosen natural sites using abstracted shapes, symbolic colours and black/white evokes a strong sense of both actual and mythological place. The inscrutable architecture of Nature, arranged in leaf, rock, sky and cloud forms a numinous ground for embedded glyphs - a language of signs and signals intuited during the spontaneous act of painting which to me is a kind of conscious dreaming. My multi-panel friezes are visual narratives tracing passages in cyclic time and space.
    • Biography
      • Solo Exhibitions:
        “Living Waters” Albert Street Gallery, Mittagong, 1999
        “The Enclosed Place” FCA Gallery, Wollongong, 2001
        “The Invisible Witness” Green Clock Gallery, Bundanoon, 2008
        “The Happening of Place” Foyer Gallery, Wingecarribee Shire Civic Centre, Moss Vale, 2018 (current)

        Numerous regional group exhibitions.

    • Interview
      • Which new trends or Australian artists do you find inspiring at the moment? I look for beauty, the sweetness of the sublime, simile without pretence. As an artist I am highly tuned to pretence, and therefore suffer hugely from collisions with contraptions. Much new art is a reassertion of the old in new forms. Forms that have served their purpose in liberating new latitudes of sensibility will continue as echoes and echoes of echoes but in this scenario I do not hear the first voice. Since a trend is collective simulation, and an original mind does not engage in mimicry, nothing original is forthcoming from trends. Breaking from trends there are a few good artists. One has trouble locating them in history. Karla Dickens is an interesting artist.

        Which Australian deceased artist do you most admire and why? Ian Fairweather, for his honesty and resourcefulness and his playful unhindered lyricism.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why? ‘Picasso, Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso’ at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2012 - especially the chair sculpture which explained Cubism’s hallucinogenic premises better than any 2D image.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work? Nature is my inspiration and my reason for painting. Nature takes away the penchant for self-consciousness. It is easy to forget the residue of preconceptions housed in the mind when at ease in the house of the creator. From a point of ecstatic emptiness, the breath of the wind, the song of bird and river, the sunlight filtered by leaf and cloud, the graceful eloquence of tree limb and rounded stone become an integrated whole, an interlaced totality - and that is what I paint.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about? Of course. The state of mind needs to be lucid and focused. The painting apparatus, carefully arranged, becomes the array of ritual implements, the paint the oblation, the hand the vehicle of offering. The act of putting down paint (I do not say ‘marks’ because that implies deliberation) is simply an applied gesture of reverence.

        What do you like most about being an artist? Like the ‘Little Prince’ an artist lives a precarious, threadbare existence in a garden of love and hope. When art is worship there is no better life.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block? It's easy to succumb to despair, either from failed effort or the utter dejection of not being understood. I find the best way to get a fresh idea started is to take a small sketchbook and a gel biro and copy what I see, preferably far from human habitation. From those quick scribbles new tangents emerge.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date? Spending an afternoon alone with Brett Whiteley after tricking my way into his Surry Hills fortress. His affirmations confirmed the conviction that I am an artist.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how? I would very much like to awaken awareness of the invisible lines and flows that connect things. If I can speak honestly and without adherence to a code, and moreover speak in a language of affection that all understand I will have spoken well.

        What are your plans for the coming year? I do not aspire to anything but the achievement of a sublimated practice – I know beauty and therefore she is my muse. Practically, I plan to create themed series of largish paintings rather than singular works for sale. I must try to keep these series intact. If the project succeeds, I will arrange an exhibition someplace, possibly in Prague.

  • ‘memory of jervis bay’ painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    ‘Memory Of Jervis Bay’
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
    $2,605
  • ‘the river in winter’ painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    ‘The River In Winter’
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
    $1,745
  • ‘the river at berrima’ painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    ‘The River At Berrima’
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
    $1,760
  • ‘mystic’ painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    ‘Mystic’
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
    $1,740
  • ‘nine moons’ or ‘the reservoir’   painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    ‘Nine Moons’ Or ‘The Reservoir’
    Painting / 122 x 80 cm
    $995
  • ‘movement’ painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    ‘Movement’
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
    $1,920
  • at the waterfall - the earthquake at rivers end painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    At The Waterfall - The Earthquake At Rivers End
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
    $875
  • a new language painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    A New Language
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
    $1,480
  • the invisible history of leaves  painting tillian clegg TILLIAN CLEGG
    The Invisible History Of Leaves
    Painting / 92 x 122 cm
    $1,380
  • the hill that god made painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    The Hill That God Made
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • the song of orpheus painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    The Song Of Orpheus
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • necromanteion  painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    Necromanteion
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • call of the koel (the preciousness of water) painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    Call Of The Koel (The Preciousness Of Water)
    Painting / 560 x 92 cm
  • felicities of paradox painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    Felicities Of Paradox
    Painting / 92 x 122 cm
  • the pool of midnight painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    The Pool Of Midnight
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • reverie – air and dreams painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    Reverie – Air And Dreams
    Painting / 360 x 60 cm
  • savage garden painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    Savage Garden
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • arnhem inari - spirit dog story painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    Arnhem Inari - Spirit Dog Story
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • bird listening to the sky  painting tillian clegg
    TILLIAN CLEGG
    Bird Listening To The Sky
    Painting / 122 x 92 cm