Featured Artist: Michael John Taylor

OVERVIEW: Born in Sunderland, North England, in 1939. Michael is one of Australia?s most original and inspiring artists. He is a glorious painter, superb draughtsman and stimulating teacher. His achievements are numerous. He has won every major art prize down the east coast of Australia.

PROFILE: He trained at the prestigious Chelsea School of Art, London for five years culminating in the National Diploma of drawing and design award in 1962. He obtained his art Teacher?s certificate from Leeds University. Since immigrating to Australia in 1964 he taught Art at Lismore Secondary School for ten years until 1974, and in Technical Colleges and the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education. He has dedicated his life to his two great loves, painting and teaching. Michael?s work is beautifully balanced as is his life. To live spiritually in a world that is materialistic is something Michael has achieved in his life and this is reflected in his art. As he says, in his work he achieves, ?The Essence or Soul of Human Relationships and Personal values in a Spiritual sense while working in a basically materialistic world? Michael also finds balance within the images and illusions that people have of themselves. The silhouette of a lanky girl in the wisp of a night ? dress oscillating between the half ? clad figure in his solemn suit is an image verging between reality and dreams. These thought provoking pictures tantalize the mind. What are the figures thinking? What happened next? Will there be an encounter? Here is another theme unraveling an intricate web of mystery within each picture. An embrace, a kiss, a face cloistered in darkness, tokens of the past, the outstretched arm with a view to an encounter stimulate the senses of the viewer.

There is always mystery on a Michael Taylor canvas. Every work takes us on a journey of discovery like the magic carpet floating into sappho?s Starry, Starry night of dreams depicted in some if Michael?s pictures. He is a painter of moments and mysteries, of dreams and desires, of poetry and passion. When you stare into a Michael Taylor canvas you can immediately relate to what you see. Your instant response is, ?yes, I know that feeling!? If it is possible to paint and investigate human emotions, Michael is the master. With every image he captures and explores universal emotions of love and longing and that anticipation of things to come. We relate to the scantily clad figures starring at each other, but it is the dark spaces between them where the mystery and tension lies.

The distance between knowing and to knowing, between innocence and experience are explored by Michael. Is the young woman as innocent as she appears or does she have an ulterior motive, or perhaps he does as he strokes her flowing hair? We identify with the feeling produced from the tension between the figures. We remember that stare, the longing, that intense flush before her lips meet his - the moment when illusion and reality collide. In this way, Michael?s work is I essence sensual in the purest form of the word. His thought provoking images appeal primarily too the senses. As Michael says: ?In Eastern Countries the dancer was the medium between the earthly and the ethereal. Likewise in the West the poet, since the time when the Greeks referred to the word ?Duende? being the contact point with that which cannot be seen, But merely acknowledged through the senses and heightened awareness.? Michael John Taylor is an extraordinary artist. For over thirty years he has led the way for many artists to follow. His intellect and great capacity for understanding humanity combined with his gifted, Natural talent make him a monumental figure on the Australian art scene. There is no picture quite like a Taylor. It?s his uniqueness and distinctive quality that sets him apart, or rather above the rest.



11. Lovers Of The Knight

by Michael John Taylor


25. Moderately Animated

by Michael John Taylor


28. CAN I TOUCH said He, HOW MUCH said She

by Michael John Taylor


29. An Extremely Contented Gentleman

by Michael John Taylor

Source: Watling Galleries