Public help sought to find local Yaxley artworks

Published on 01 September 2015

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In the 1970s and 1980s, prominent Australian artist William Yaxley lived and worked in Central Queensland. From his studio in Byfield on his mandarin farm, he created paintings and sculptures that have been displayed nationally and internationally.

In preparation for an exhibition in 2016, titled The Adventures of William Yaxley, Rockhampton Art Gallery is hoping to hear from locals who may have works created by Yaxley during his time in the region.

The exhibition will feature works from state and national collections, but the Gallery is hoping to feature some locally owned pieces.

Yaxley grew up in Shepparton, Victoria, and, as an adult, lived in Byfield. In 1989 he moved to Tasmania and established a winery, where he currently lives.

He is a story-teller, and his paintings depict idyllic scenes of farming life and of his travels around Australia. Yaxley also works in sculpture, often creating surreal-like, humorous creatures out of recycled materials. This combination of larrikinism, sense of irony in the everyday, and an essentially raw approach to art-making has made Yaxley a collectable artist with an understated respect in Australian art.

He concentrates on the elements of texture, shape, colour, and movement, which he combines with an aerial perspective to depict regional locations and subject matter with an irreverent sense of humour.

Chair of Rockhampton Regional Council’s Communities Committee, Cr Rose Swadling said that Rockhampton Art Gallery would love to hear from locals who may own a Yaxley painting or sculpture.

“The Gallery is excited to present The Adventures of William Yaxley, which will be on display from 9 April to 29 May 2016,” she said.

“If you have a Yaxley painting or sculpture that you would be happy to loan, then the Gallery would love to hear from you,” she said.

Anyone who may be able to help should contact the Rockhampton Art Gallery on 4936 8248, or email an image to gallery@rrc.qld.gov.au. Rockhampton Art Gallery is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council.