1. Why do you think you’re drawn to the femina in your work?
I am drawn to the femina in all aspects of my life from an early age. My father's paintings have been an indelible part of my psyche since birth. In utero Charles was painting Alice in Wonderland and I was born into Wonderland… literally. So Alice was/is my mother.
2. Are the women in these works the same person or a universal woman?
The iconic Warhol, Picasso, Matisse-even Mona Lisa etc. women bust portraits stand out for me. We are drawn to the female visage in all art.
3. You have dedicated this series to your mother Barbara Blackman. Why did you decide to do that?
My mother's blindness has guided me from birth. Her touch, her voice, her council have been there to sound out my life. It is a great privilege. Whenever I recite my poetry, I ask the audience to close their eyes to access pure imagination. You see my mother Barbara taught me to see through closed eyes. Her trials and tribulations are well published. one of her greatest feats was to title all Charles' work. Dad would describe his intent and picture plain and Barbara would give a succinct one or few word title that would describe the emotion. At Charles NSW Art Gallery service Barbara stated “Charles made intimacy visible”. Only she had the insight to describe Charles' life in such a way.
4. Which women from real life do you admire and why?
First is my gorgeous wife Andrea. She has taught me so much about myself and the world around me. Then all my daughters, both biological and non-biological. I also travel to Canberra every 6 weeks to spend time at the College of Barbara. Still so much to learn. I have illustrated a book of 35 poems she wrote for me when I was born.
5. What do you hope the viewer takes away from these works?
A sense of how important women and the femina guide us in all our daily lives.
Discover the few 'Women 2020' series here.