Q + A: Nathan Wilkinson

TAKING HIS CUES FROM RUST AND SCRATCHES ON METAL OBJECTS, NATHAN WILKINSON PAINTS DYSTOPIAN FIGURES IN STRANGE NEW WORLDS.

How would you describe what you do to someone who hasn’t seen your art?

It’s a love hate relationship. The love and excitement of painting is when things are flowing and the painting takes me on a journey. The frustrating aspects of it are the mistakes I make, which ironically are as important as the good decisions I make. I see in my work a need for people to try and connect to each other and the outside world. It’s an effort to try and find one’s place in a very strange, often beautiful world. I want to convey the excitement and terror of living during our extremely brief existence.

What materials do you use?

Oil on canvas is what I mostly use. I love the stuff, even the smell of it. It can be a frustrating process and you need a tonne of patience. I have been painting for nearly 30 years and I am still learning new ways to use the stuff.

What does a typical day in the studio look like for you?

A typical day for me begins at the end of my Postie job. A strong coffee is followed by a period of staring at the works I have under construction. This can last for up to an hour. Decisions are made, tunes are cranked and it’s time to, as I like to say, ”waste some paint”.

Generally I will start a painting by building up layers of paint on top of each other. Then by scraping, scratching and sanding and an image will reveal itself to me. From then on it’s a process of trial and error that hopefully leaves me with something I am happy with.

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