De­nis Brockie speaks about his new ex­hi­bi­tion at the Stan­thorpe Re­gional Art Gallery:

Hus­band and wife join forces

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE -

A LIFE’S work will go on show this Satur­day as lo­cal artist De­nis Brockie ex­hibits his “ret­ro­spec­tive”.

His works have been in­di­vid­u­ally ac­claimed and landed him nu­mer­ous prizes but this is the first time they will all hang in the one room for all to see.

His wife, Mag­gie, will also par­tic­i­pate in the show, with her sculp­tures set to com­ple­ment De­nis’s work on the night.

“As I've had my 70th this year we, we be­ing my daugh­ter and I, de­cided it was ap­pro­pri­ate to hold a ret­ro­spec­tive,” De­nis said.

“Re­ally that’s what it’s about, just to get a col­lec­tion of 17 years work to­gether, be­cause it’s never hap­pened be­fore,” he said.

Born in New Zealand, De­nis stud­ied at the Can­ter­bury Univer­sity School of Fine Arts in the 1960s be­fore trav­el­ling and even­tu­ally set­tling in the Gran­ite Belt in 1977.

Dur­ing the course of his artis­tic ca­reer he’s par­tic­i­pated in ex­hi­bi­tions across Aus­tralia and New Zealand and won the 2006, 2009 and 2015 D’Arcy Doyle Land­scape Prize, as well as the Stan­thorpe Fes­ti­val Art Prize in 2012.

“Pro­fes­sion­ally I be­gan do­ing it 17 years ago full time,” Mr Brockie said.

“I was a sign writer – that’s what I used to do in the Stan­thorpe district back in the 1980s.

“Then I moved away to Strad­broke Is­land. The sign writ­ing there led to the paint­ing of a se­ries of mu­rals with is­land scenes and, as a re­sult of that, I de­cided to drop the sign writ­ing.

“It was sort of prompted by tech­nol­ogy tak­ing over. I didn't re­ally want to go down the dig­i­tal sign road.”

But it was a leap of faith that worked for De­nis.

“It was suc­cess­ful for me – I was able to make a liv­ing.”

Over the years his style has mor­phed with early and late works a stark con­trast to his prize-win­ning land­scapes.

“The land­scapes and seascapes came along in the 2000s but the ab­stracts are

re­ally from a much ear­lier phase when I was an art stu­dent many years ago.

“They were al­ways there in the back­ground ... as a hob­by­ist I'd paint ab­stracts but I be­came in­ter­ested in com­bin­ing the two.”

He con­cedes, to the

un­trained eye, ab­stract work can ap­pear schiz­o­phrenic.

These days a lot of the work to be ex­hib­ited be­longs in pri­vate col­lec­tions.

“When I was of­fered the space and asked whether I wanted the whole space, then Mag­gie and I talked about her putting sculp­tures in there.

“I’ve ac­tu­ally been col­lect­ing paint­ings since early Au­gust. I be­gan driv­ing around South-East Queens­land, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Strad­broke Is­land.

“I have re­lied on the own­ers’ gen­eros­ity but there will still be a dozen works for sale.

“This is a one-off for me. It’s not go­ing to hap­pen again,” De­nis said.

PHOTOS: MATTHEW PUR­CELL

LOOK­ING BACK: De­nis Brockie will show­case his works at an ex­hibit on Satur­day night at the Stan­thorpe Re­gional Art Gallery.

De­nis has tread a num­ber of dif­fer­ent artis­tic paths, with some of his more ab­stract pieces a con­trast to his land­scape work.

Mag­gie Brockie will show some of her sculp­ture pieces along­side hus­band De­nis on Satur­day.

One of nu­mer­ous works De­nis will dis­play at the ex­hibit.

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