All the world’s a stage
uated from London’s Royal College of Art, won a scholarship to travel to Paris and moved to Australia in 1976 to teach art at Darwin Community College.
Now, he owns a small Paris studio apartment and travels there a few months of the year with partner and artist Wendy Sharpe to draw and find inspiration in Europe’s galleries.
“My Paris works are often looking out of rooms through windows, and in the windows are part of the theatre of life,” Ollis said.
“They’re like pictures within pictures and sort of feel like a stage set.
“The Theatre of Life seemed to encompass those aspects of my work and gave it a title, which was open enough to allow many interpretations about what I like doing.”
The former National Art School director has evolved an artistic practice that is difficult to categorise, with aspects of expressionism, narrative and allegory.
Some refer to his works as being naïve while others say they are romantic, but without question they definitely burst with colour.
Ollis was in Perth over the weekend for his exhibition opening at Robert Buratti’s recently relocated gallery, Buratti Fine Art.
Formerly in North Fremantle, the gallery moved to the new Hay Street space in Subiaco at the beginning of March after Buratti decided he needed a more central location.
The two-storey venue includes a ground floor print showroom and first-floor exhibition space.
“We came across a great building where we can combine the exhibition side of the business with Buratti Editions, which focuses on artist prints, limited editions and art books,” Buratti said.
“We work with everyone from emerging local artists to international established artists.
“So for Bernard’s exhibition we have a selection of his major paintings upstairs, and downstairs are his works on paper and printmaking as a lovely complement to the show.”
Artist Bernard Ollis with gallery owner