Remembering Jack Absalom

Rowdy Wylie has reminded me that it is the anniversary of the death of one of Australia's greatest artists - Jack Absalom- who died on 22 March 2019.

Jack Absalom with one of his many paintings of the Australian outback (1)

I had the pleasure some time back to spend a couple of hours talking painting with Jack Absalom in his gallery in Broken Hill. He was a lovely, gentle man and a wonderful artist who so generously gave time to anyone who wanted to talk about how to get that perfect image.

Anne with Jack Absalom

To meet Jack is to meet the best of what it means to be Australian. He was generous, warm, and humorous with a great sense of adventure twinkling in his eyes - the gateway to the intelligence and talent that created magnificent outback landscapes. Here he has captured the beautiful Olgas (Kata Tjuta) in the Northern Territory.

The Olgas N.T. (Kata Tjuta) by Jack Absalom (2) 

Jack Absalom was born in Port Augusta, South Australia and was bought up in the Nullarbor, a semi-arid treeless plain. He was a man of many talents: apart from his artistic gifts Jack was also a miner in Broken Hill and a television star of an ABC production on surviving in the outback (Absalom’s Outback) where he visited remote locations in a Chrysler Sigma.3

But for most of us, we remember Jack as a master at capturing the magnificence of the Australian outback landscape. Be it a bend in the river ...

Jack Absalom: River Bend, Coopers Creek (2)

...or a rocky outcrop.

Jack Absalom: Rocky Outcrop, Everard Ranges (2)

And frequently remembering and paying homage to those who lived in the outback and who loved this country as much as Jack.

Jack Absalom: Trappers Camp, 1988 (2)

Jack Absalom was a member of the Brushmen of the Bush - a group of five men from Broken Hill who painted together and who spent years having exhibitions of their paintings around the world to raise money for charities. We have had several posts on this group and the last member of the group - John Pickup- is our dearly loved and admired member of the AnArt4Life blog team.

Brushmen of the Bush (1)

One of my favourite paintings by Jack is The Aboriginal Stockman as shown below. Jack has described it thus:

When I made one of my films in the Everard Ranges, South Australia, I had some very special friends...One was an aboriginal elder called Kuntji, who at the time was the head man of the Pitjantjatjara council. Another was the aboriginal stockman who agreed to do a stock scene for me. This particular stockman would wait until we set up the camera then he would gallop his horse at the camera and wheel it away at the last stride. He was determined to be in the film. So I decided it would make a nice painting.5

Jack Absalom: The Aboringal Stockman (5)

Today we remember Jack Absalom and the wonderful paintings he created of the land and its people he so dearly loved. You can check out the site dedicated to the works of Jack Absalom by clicking here.

Jack Absalom painting in the desert (4)

And you can also take a nostalgic journey with Jack Absalom in the video below to the richest square mile of real estate in the world. Jack traces the golden rainbow that the early diggers followed on their quest for the lucky strike that would set them up for life. We meet up with some of the characters that inhabit the gold fields and hear of the great gold strikes and gold swindles.

Credits
1. abc.net.au
2. aasd.com.au
3. en.wikipedia.org
4. smh.com.au
5. jackabsalom.com.au