I’m the son of an architect and so I guess a love of buildings is in my DNA. Maybe I’m a frustrated architect, who knows, but the truth is I’ve always been spellbound by buildings and how they stand with the changing light. There’s a lot of old and new in conventional landscape scenery – you can see new grass living under a 300 year old tree. Somehow the old and the new always blend together. It’s the aesthetics of nature. However, with urban landscapes the old and the new are often tangled together, awkwardly, dramatically and beautifully. It’s a defining feature of the urban landscape for most cities. There’s great beauty in Melbourne and a strong sense on the passage of time. My series of paintings of Melbourne are about the passage of time, and a distillation of how I experience the city visually – my unique take on it if you will. In my work, I’ve celebrated the settling together of old and new objects. I’ve expressed the city at a particular time of day – dusk. It’s a certain type of light that typifies Melbourne for me. It’s when that powerful Australian sun is softened and then thrown down – bouncing off buildings, trams and coming to rest scattered on the roads and pavements. Every artist sees things in their own way. Anyone who has had the privilege of standing in front of one of Monet’s haystack paintings will probably never look at light and shadow in the same way again. That’s art. People sometimes send me pictures of things they’ve seen that remind them of my paintings. I love that. They get what I see.
Born in London, Joe was Inspired to paint at an early age by his artist Uncle. As a boy, Joe used to sit on the pavement and paint houses. He sold his first painting of a local house to the owner for 60 pounds – a small fortune for a 12 year old boy in 1976! Encouraged towards a “proper job”, Joe largely stopped painting at age 20 when he began a corporate career in marketing in the UK, a career that eventually brought him to Australia in 2008 as Marketing Director for Coles Supermarkets. 4 years ago Joe flew back to the UK to look after his Mum during an operation. The operation was delayed and he found himself back in the parental home with time on his hands. Whilst rummaging in the attic he found his childhood painting stuff, dusted it off and began to paint. It then hit him that he’d been doing the wrong job for 30 years! Within days of returning to Melbourne he rented a studio and started to paint. He had 30 years to catch up. That was 2013.