Guy GREY-SMITH 1916 - 1981

Guy Grey-Smith was born in Wagin, Western Australia and spent most of his childhood in the south-west. During the Second World War he served in the RAAF 1936 and the RAF 1937-47, and was detained as a prisoner of war in Germany 1940-4. Upon his release, he studied with Adrian Hill in a sanatorium in Sussex 1944-5, then under Robert Medley, Henry Moore and Ceri Richards at the Chelsea School of Art, London in 1945-7. He returned to Western Australia in 1948 and later settled in Darlington, where the nearby rocks, trees and hills provided him with subjects for his art. With Tom Gibbons, Robert Juniper and Brian McKay he formed the Perth Group in 1957, to promote modernism in Perth. He travelled widely in the sparsely settled areas of Western Australia and was inspired by the vast, structural landscapes of the NorthWest. Simplifying the forms and broadly applying vivid colour in flat slabs within a shallow picture plane, Grey-Smith sought to convey the power of nature, maintaining that ‘what I do is make paint what I have to say’.