Stewart Westle

STEWART WESTLE

Stewart was born in Adelaide, 1952, where he developed a love for art at school. On leaving school he committed to practice enthusiastically; he travelled throughout Australia, Asia and Europe and, although largely self taught, completed several painting courses on returning home.

 

His main practice has been painting in oils, although he has extended his skills to include sculpture and installation. During his development years, Stewart was greatly influenced by Fred Williams and John Olsen, among others. In later years his influences have included the art of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian artist and architect, and the intimate relationship that Indigenous Australians have with their land.

 

Westle says, “My aim as a artist and landscape painter is to express what being in the bush means to me. My paintings speak of the precious moments when we take time out to communicate with nature. The time we sit on the headlands and dream about the future and reflect on the past, the times we walk along the lonely track and wonder about the complexity of it all. The times we share friendship and just marvel at the beauty of it all. It’s a wonderful world we live in, I strive for my paintings to reflect some of that wonder.”

 

Westle’s love and enchantment for the Australian landscape and seascape is evident in the colour, freedom of application and raw energy emanating from his paintings, through which he has evolved a distinctive language for his landscapes. He believes that his best paintings are executed in a near meditative state.

 

”My paintings speak of the precious moments when we take time out to communicate with nature.”

 

Stewart uses his art to enhance his own sense of belonging. He currently lives in Red Hill, a small town on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, where family and community involvement are integral to his daily life.

In recent years, Stewart has ventured into the world of sculpture, experimenting with the use of locally sourced red gum, driftwood and glass. After starting with smaller projects, Stewart began to make temporary large-scale artworks on the beaches up and down the east coast of Australia. These were momentary pieces of work made from found beach jetsam that were washed away once the tide came in. 

Recently Stewart was profiled at Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition with ‘S.O.S’; a new form artwork involving burnt logs from his property, arranged in Morse code.

As Stewart’s art practice matures, his fascination with the shapes, textures and colours of the natural world seems to be intensifying, translating into an ever-evolving practice.
 

”My paintings speak of the precious moments when we take time out to communicate with nature.”

Stewart Westle