Tim Storrier Essay, Research Paper
(1949-)Tim Storrier was born in Sydney Australia in 1949. He spent his early childhood on his family’s sheep station at Umagarlee, near Wellington, NSW. His mother and grandmother were interested in art, and he would draw a lot. He drew military heroes and rural subjects such as woolsheds. At the age of ten he went to boarding school in Sydney, where he spent a lot of time in the art room, painting under the influence of his teacher Ross Doig. Storrier attended the National Art School from 1967-1969.
Storrier is a contemporary artist. He has used non-traditional artforms, incorporating different artstyles into the one artwork. He challenges the audiences comfort zone by depicting carcasses.
Tim Storrier’s artworks have been influenced by his childhood memories, dreams and myths of the Australian outback, country life, his travels to the outback, his travels to Egypt, and Dutch seascapes. Dutch artist Theo Kuijpers, English artists Constable and Turner, French artists Delacroix and Gericault, and Australian artists Russel Drysdale and Sydney Nolan have influenced Storrier’s artwork as well.
Tim Storrier goes about creating his artwork as follows. He travels to a sight, for example, the Australian bush and he commits what he sees, feels, and experiences to memory. He paints and creates his artworks when he returns to his studio. They are his personal response to the spirit of the location. He does not sketch or record notes whilst he is travelling, although he does take polaroid photographs. He takes photos of the same thing at different times of the day, resulting in his artworks having atmospheric effects of sunrise and sunsets. When Storrier did roleplays, dressing up for heroic roles, like a spy for example, he took photos to record himself as well.
Upon returning to his studio Storrier picks a photograph that can be associated in a variety of ways. He makes works similar in subject matter, but which give different overall impressions. ‘I never work from photographic documents. The little polaroids are just mental records. I paint pictures about, not from, photographs.’ He explores the concept, and makes preliminary sketches and small studies of his ideas to decide the colour and tone. He chooses the size to make his artwork oncer he has his idea.
Tim Storrier uses a variety of media in his artworks. He uses acrylics and oils, but likes acrylics more as they are quicker to work with, and it is easer to correct mistakes. ‘I paint with a brush and also try to squeeze on paint from a tube. I use acrylics like oil paints and build up layers of paint to get the tone of the picture working.’ Storrier also uses pencil, conte’ crayon, Indian ink, cibachrome photography and film, twigs, masking tape, eyelets, string paper, wood, wire, rope, steel. He uses the media in drawings, collages, paintings, etchings, screenprints, mixed media constructions, and site constructions.
Tim Storrier displays excellent technical skills in graphic design. He is very precise in his drawings, paintings, and mixed media constructions. An example is his artwork The Hungry Surveyor 1980, which was the result of pencil studies made on graph paper and his love for pure geometric form.
Storrier likes to create an illusion of space in his artworks and does so by shadows, receding horizon lines, long perspective, distant vanishing points, and works done from an arial view. The space creates a sense of solitude, emptiness and vastness in his work. Objects such as debris have been incorporated into his earlier works to indicate distance.
In the 1960’s Storrier painted a series based on organic plant forms which was related to the late 1960’s art of the American west coast, using his graphic design skills. He went to the USA in 1971, meeting artists such as William T Wiley who was working on Neo-Dadaism and Wayne Thiebaud who was working on Super Realism. It was this visit which caused him to re-evaluate his thinking and way of making art. The American desert gave him a new sense of colour and light.
Storrier has an affection for and connection to the Australian landscape physically and emotionally, and it is this cultural and geographical identity which he wanted to keep in his work. Upon becoming an artist-in-residence at the Owen tooth Memorial in Venice, Storrier created a series of works based on abandoned desert sites. He uses the desert landscape as a stage and adds images and objects such as abandoned desert campsites, derelict structures, crumbling buildings, wooden utensils, saddles tin cups, beef carcasses, hats, etc. Examples of the above are Death of a Warrior in Spring 1975 and Study Kennel Memory 1987. The artworks have hidden meanings that reflect Storrier’s way of seeing the world.
Meat featured in many of Storrier’s later works, which were the result of raw meat from his country background, such as The Burn 1984 and Still Life with Landscape1989. Tim Storrier won the Sulman Award for his artwork The Burn.
In the 1980’s, Storrier became frustrated with painting realistically, since the same thing can be achieved through photography. He was inspired by the work of Dutch artist Theo Kuijpers who created mixed media works, combining realistic, tangible form with illusionism. This gave birth to artworks such as The Diary 1979-1980, For Time Means Tucker and Tramp You must 1982, and The Hungry Surveyor 1980.
Tim Storrier’s artworks are in galleries worldwide, and are viewed by gallery goers. They are in The National gallery of Australia in Canberra, the national Gallery if Victoria, the art galleries of Western Australia, NSW, Queensland, and the Northern Territory, and some regional galleries. His artworks are also in the Lourve Museum in Paris, the National and Tate Galleries in London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York. Storrier says to his audience: ‘My work has deep meaning to me. It is me. A painting is really a graphic illustration of where a particular artist is at that point in his life. It’s a creative struggle to understand it – though no artist ever utterly understands hat he is doing. Other people come along and interpret the paintings from their own life experiences.’