Luke Wagner :
In His Sleep

Colville Gallery
91a Salamanca Place, Hobart TAS 7000
12 October – 28 October 2017

Luke Wagner, As we Travel, 2017, oil & wax on linen, 122 x 183cm

Luke Wagner, As we Travel, 2017, oil & wax on linen, 122 x 183cm

I met Norma McAuley in 1986 and came to know her well . I was fortunate to visit the McAuley home in Marsh Street, New Town on many occasions. 

Norma came to the opening of my first exhibition of paintings in 1994 and purchased a painting. She said to me at the exhibition referring to my paintings “Luke, it is a new voice”  I later spoke with her about the idea of me making paintings from reading her late husbands poems. She was enthusiastic but explained the complexities of copyright, I was too young and the idea diluted. 

I have always kept a copy of James McAuley poems in my studio and over the years often referred to his poems for inspiration particularly for titles of my paintings. 

Serendipitously I met James McAuley’s daughter, Kate in 2016. We chatted enthusiastically over McAuley memories and again the idea of an exhibition related to McAuley poems was discussed. I followed through this time by inviting Kate and her brother Phil to my studio to discuss the possibility further, agreement was reached. 

I have chosen to paint the last eleven poems written by James, a series entitled  “Time Given”. He wrote these poems at the age that I am now. They are elegant, simple poems embued with a deep understanding of life and the process of dying. 

James died at the age of 59 in October 1976, the book of poems was finished on Christmas Day of the same year. 230 copies were printed and copy number 100 is in my possession. 

This exhibition coincides with 100 years since the birth of James McAuley

Everyday 10am - 5pm

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