Sharpening Picks

Graham Merrett

“Life is different in the Ridge”

July 23 - July 31, 2011

Graham is an Outback Bush artist who works from his own experiences. He has exhibited widely in Australia and has won numerous Art Awards. ‘Most of the paintings and sculptures I create are scenes from my life or the lives of people I have known’ (Graham Merrett).

Graham’s connection’s with the Ridge goes back about 60 years. It was when reading Idriess’ book on Lightning Ridge, as a 14 year old boy that he knew he had to go there. Arriving in 1963 he worked the Nobbys field long enough to get enough money to get married.

Life took Graham to the tin and gold fields of Far North Queensland where he raised and educated his family. Then Graham was off to the Central Queensland Sapphire fields to mine and paint for exhibitions in Brisbane the Gold Coast and Melbourne. He returned to the Ridge in the mid 90’s to continue mining, sculpting and painting. With some, 160 paintings in the pipeline, describing life around the Ridge, there is no end in sight to the paintings and sculptures yet to be produced from the inexhaustible material available.

‘Merrett is a Naive and utilises direct, simple, childlike solutions to the problems of perspective, colour and narrative; reminding this critic of early Nolan and he acknowledges an artistic debt to Drysdale and Nolan and the influences are still apparent’ (Norman Ingram art critic Gold Coast Bulletin).