Yabbering with Anzus

Yabbering with Anzus 1

Writing about myself, my past adventures, and all the successes and failures, is something I have always refused to do. Talk yes, but writing about them is a new experience for me, so please bear with me. Since I founded the Anzus Aboriginal Art Gallery in 2003 I have been constantly asked questions about aboriginal art and how I became involved. Sometimes I can answer these questions and sometimes I can't, but I always do my best. The question of how I became involved with aboriginal art is neither simple nor easy to answer.

I first came in contact with aborigines and was exposed to their art and culture when, as a difficult out of control teenager, I ran wild and free in Australia's tropical deep north. This occurred during my summers, when to escape Melbourne, my parents and the beaches at Portsea and Lorne, I went north and lived and worked in outback mining and cattle towns. People today have no idea of just how tough those places were then, but will appreciate that I very quickly learned that the best way to win a fight was by 100 yards.

After I graduated from university I set off to see the world. I traveled on my own, overland from Australia to England using  only local transport. I was the first person to ever to make this dangerous trip using only local buses, trains and ferries. I visited more than eighty countries and ended up in jail in only twelve of them. Most of my troubles occurred while crossing borders, or through my own stupidity. The good things I learned, I passed on to the new overland tour companies which were being set up in the 1960s. In general they all followed my route and advice on how and where to go.  During my later professional, business and political life it always seemed to me that it was better that my adventures should not be written down. Today however most of the people my writings may offend are probably dead and so I now feel free to write.

When I arrived in London after the overland trip I was still 6 feet tall, but weighed only 60 kilos, a little over 130 pounds. I had planned to do some post graduate studies at Cambridge, but a combination of factors saw me hit the road again. Actually I took a boat which sailed from Liverpool and ended up in New York. In an attempt to salvage my plans of studying at Cambridge, I hitch hiked across the U.S. looking for an American university that would have me. I ended up in San Francisco with eighteen scholarship offers which I had picked up along the way. Hitch hiking must have been a lot easier then.

After an active life during which I collected and supported art, I went back to the top end as a tourist in 2003 and completed a full circle. I was exposed to aboriginal art again, particularly the new contemporary art movement which was in full swing. I graduated once more, this time, from art collector to gallery owner. If you like the work of Australian artists, check out my website,  www.aboriginalartgalleries.com. See what the paintings are all about and please, ask me any questions you may have.