I am a portraitist – that’s what I have always done – whether that be a portrait of a tree, an animal or a landscape. I know this is an old-fashioned way to be but when one has a passion, one runs with it. I am not interested in fashion or trend. I try to be true to myself.
I was born in Germany and grew up in Australia. In my youth I felt like an outsider. I spent my 20’s in Europe and felt like an outsider there too. In my late 30's I realized that I had put my roots down here. I am an Australian. I still feel like an outsider but that is because I am. Not that you can describe my art as “outsider art”.
The world is a far too connected place. We watch the same television programs, movies, and read books that come from all over the world. We all interconnect online. Listening to music and dancing is similar, except for the old, small, isolated and tribal cultures.
My father’s greatest fear was “assimilation”. He tried very hard to keep the family tucked safely into a small community. I was educated here and very much a product of my Jewish culture but I have assimilated and am also a product of the Australian culture. When you are the product of two cultures you know that they are different.
There is a very strong Australian culture. It doesn’t scream strongly “G’day luv”. The English don’t try to be very English, nor do the Americans – they just are. We have our own special people here who bring out their own individuality and creativity.
We should all just relax and do our own thing. It is my belief that all of us that have rolled up on these shores are the luckiest people in the world. More and more we share in the world culture, but as Australians we are blessed with freedom and space – and we very much do do our own thing. Our Australianness will shine through without self-conscious effort.