Like so many artists before him, Fremantle painter James E Duncan likes to wax lyrical about the light in the south of France.
“Late afternoons, early mornings, it’s just remarkable what you see,” he says. “When you take it inside, and you have beautiful memories from when you’re on holidays, you simply create.”
A self-taught artist who works from his cottage, New Zealand-born James will be setting off for Europe again soon. But he doesn’t lament not being able to do so for the last two years. He derives as much inspiration from Fremantle as he does from the south of France.
His playful, colourful acrylics on canvas of some of Fremantle’s most recognizable locations form the bulk of the paintings on display in this weekend’s exhibition, Fremantle in Polychrome.
The Old Prison. The Arts Centre. The Railway Station. Gage Road. The crane-interrupted skyline. All are represented in James’ own quirky, inimitable style.
“These are all beautiful buildings,” he says. “And I’ve transposed that beauty with my vision. The pictures are colourful, recognizable, but not always in proportion.”
He also loves the idea of living in a place with a working port. “It’s amazing to be hear and to watch what happens in the real world,” he says. “All those ships, those trucks, those cranes, the harbour itself… I love it!”
- Fremantle in Polychrome opens this Friday March 18 from 6-9pm in The Old Shop, 42 Holdsworth Street, Fremantle.
- The exhibition continues Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 20, open daily from 10am to 4pm.
- All works are for sale.
Listen to the full interview here: