The paintings are predominantly acrylic on canvas and are almost entirely painted by brush.
When one talks about Australian Art, many names come to mind. The early impressionists for example, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Condor, David Davies, Will Ashton etc. Then we talk of the famous contemporary painters, so synonymous with the wildly exuberant prices currently fetched at auction. Names like, Arthur Boyd, John Perceval, John Brack, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Preston, Robert Dickerson, Brett Whitely and so on.
But when you mention Australian surrealists, very few come to mind, Albert Tucker, Peter Purves Smith and the most iconic James Gleeson.
No way in the least trying to categorise himself with these artists, or their standing, Shane’s creative symbolism, is a square peg against a seemingly round hole.
“Give me a home, where the Jackalopes roam…” Undoubtedly, this title, personifies the free ranging, wild eyed imagination this versatile artist.
So it is no surprise, that Shane’s unique approach to painting comes from a rather unconventional life. An uninhibited, self taught painting style, a slightly skewed view of the world and a wander lust for travel. Perhaps his paintings also personify the “she’ll be right mate” culture of the Australian psyche.
Although, born and raised in the suburbs of Southern Australia, Shane soon developed a great affinity for the ‘bush’ and the strange creatures that inhabit the arid lands of the Australian desert. Many a school break was spent visiting the vast outback sheep stations, (Shane’s father was an accountant for a pastoralists firm.) Soon, the vibrant colors and stark light and contrast, were forever etched into his mind’s eye.
Shane began his full time art career in 1992, in the dry, arid regions of central Australia, in, of all places, a mining town. His paintings soon built a solid reputation with galleries and the public. The birth of his iconic ‘Chrome Kangaroos’ forever solidified his reputation as a significant artist, with a highly individual style. The kangaroos soon anthropomorphised into a chrome female form, subjects that are both still carried to this day.
Shane’s paintings are a strange combination of realism, fantasy art, sci-fi, surrealism and political satire.
“I feel it is an artist’s role, to record the images, emotions and climatic undercurrents that we encounter, in this brief moment we are here. Our culture, thoughts, feelings and experiences, are all unique to this snapshot in time. Everything that is truly within us, expressed outwardly, openly, honestly and plausibly, laid bare for the scrutiny of the public, is of immense social importance. Anything else is just ‘wall fluff!’
Shane’s recent series of paintings have evolved into a diverse array of subject matter. With characters, such as ‘Saint Bilby’ the patron Saint of tree huggers, ‘Uncle Sam’, the irascible Tasmanian Devil, clockwork Marsupial mice and hybrid mechanical Bandicoots. These are juxtaposed against real and imagined backdrops, viewed sanguinely by the sensuous chrome beauties or alternately, reflected in Shane’s iconic Metallic Macropods (chrome Kangaroos). These symbolic figures parody the folly of mankind, in its triumphs and failed attempts, to engineer and manipulate the natural Diaspora of this blue planet.
Upon his recent travels through the USA, Shane discovered a great affinity with the desert landscapes of Arizona and New Mexico. The vibrant colors and clear blue skies, reminiscent of his time spent in the ‘outback’ of Australia. This is evident in his new series of paintings, based on those vistas and his interpretation of the diverse cultural aspects of the South West. Time can only tell what new subjects will evolve via the brush, through the tangled imaginative mindscape of this colorful Australian character.
Shane’s work has been exhibited all around Australia in many group and solo exhibitions. This is complimented, by his colorful forays into his so called “experimental shameless media self promotion field” which includes: a mural on a $17 million SAAB aircraft, painting from a hovering helicopter, and texture and color metamorphosis, using a shotgun. Not to forget, a tongue in cheek rendition of “Australian Green Poles” which was offered to the Australian National Gallery? This was to baby sit the empty spot left by Jackson Pollock’s ‘Blue Poles’ while it was touring in the U.S.A.
Shane’s unique works are held in private and corporate collections all around the world.
His work has featured in many media publications, books and television shows, both in Australia and internationally.