This exhibition presents a selection of paintings from the Collection in the colour spectrum black to white, and includes the following artists –
TREVOR RICHARDS, ROBERT HUNTER,HOWARD TAYLOR, JOHN FIRTH-SMITH, MARGERY EDWARDS, NORAH NAPALJARRI, NELSON ANDREW, LESLIE DOROTHY NAPANGARDI, DOUGLAS SHEERER, JESSICA MAIS WRIGHT, GINA BRUCE
The ‘bronze’ element incorporates the little known sculptures of Robert Holmes à Court’s younger brother, Simon, and those of Simon’s close friend Bodo Muche, whose works are for sale. Though Robert Holmes à Court was a household name through the seventies and eighties in Australia, little was heard of his brother Simon who had remained in Africa. Simon’s passion was Africa. Most at home in the bush, and at ease with all wildlife, he was at various points in his life a game warden, seagoing adventurer, filmmaker and sculptor. He was as adventurous in his own way as Robert was in the financial world.
In 1977, at the age of 37, Simon Holmes à Court disappeared in the wilds of Africa. He had set off to travel to Johannesburg to buy equipment for the foundry he was setting up at his home in Botswana and simply did not return. After three long years his body was eventually found. The cause of death was inconclusive.
We decided to display a selection of the family’s collection of Simon’s sculptures at the suggestion of his friend and fellow sculptor Bodo Muche. Born in Germany, Bodo left Berlin in 1958 and travelled through Europe to eventually settle and spend seventeen years in Tanzania and Botswana. It was there that he met Simon Holmes à Court and they became friends and colleagues. Bodo was much affected by Simon’s death, as was the Holmes à Court family, so in that sense this is a very personal return to a difficult time, but it is also an acknowledgement and celebration of Simon’s passion for African wildlife and the natural world, his talent for close observation and modelling and a reflection on a career sadly cut short. His friend, naturalist, wildlife filmmaker and artist Tim Liversedge said, in describing the model of Simon’s large elephant –“It was so accurate and lifelike, he could have made his name as a sculptor on that piece alone”.
Today Bodo and Robyn Muche live in Australia. Their home and studio is located at Mt Glenhowden in Queensland, surrounded by natural bushland and gardens. Home and travels continue to provide Bodo with inspiration for his development as a contemporary naturalistic artist. All Bodo’s works in the exhibition are for sale.