If you’re familiar with the Australian art scene, or even the international scene, you’ll know of the high profile Melbourne plastic surgeon, art collector and philanthropist Dr Terry Wu.
He recently received a major award for philanthropy, and below is a video highlighting his art activities, including my own Queen Lizzie and Owl painting which forms part of his collection. (It appears in the video at around the 40 second mark.)
The painting lives at his plastic surgery clinic, and is right by the patient examination couch.
Slightly quirky, don’t you think - in a good way, naturally! Clients are delighted, amused, intrigued and entertained.
The objects in the painting - the owl and the picture of the Queen - come from my mother and grandmother.
My Estonian grandmother came to Australia in the 1950’s and was a crazy-keen British royalist. The rest of the family made total fun of her for it, but she took no notice. She proudly displayed this tiny framed photo of the Queen, with its fancy cream-coloured plastic frame.
The owl came from my mother’s china cabinet - an old travel souvenir
Mixing the bird and the Queen was a slightly crazy leap of faith/ flight of fancy. But it;s what I do. Maybe I had ‘Bird’s nest hair’ in mind, and then there’s also the goddess Athena/Minerva who has a wise owl on her shoulder (a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, perspicacity and erudition - yep, it’s a mouthful, so thanks Wikipedia). And then there’s a lurid El Greco lurking behind.
There’s always a twisty back-story behind my images. Deliberately so, mainly because I get bored easily so make sure there’s a lot of meaty content; enough to keep viewers looking for more.