I grew up in Melbourne, the eldest of 3 kids, in a warm extended family.
My maternal grandparents lived nearby and encouraged my artistic endeavours. Art ran in the family as their son was an artist and doing well.
They recognised my passion for drawing at an early age and, like my parents, were very encouraging. I remember going to their place and learning to play Billiards on the full size table around which the house had been built….billiards was a serious passion for my grandfather and I used to be quite good too.
Around all the walls in the billiard-room was their son’s artwork – hanging in dodgy frames as proud parents do when their kids show talent. If they had had a fridge back then (their icebox being the nearest equivalent), their fridge magnets would have been groaning under the weight of artwork on display.
So, a bit like in that Australian movie classic ‘The Castle’ the paintings went “straight to the pool room”. I remember meeting Uncle Sid when I was quite young, then almost catching up with him once in London when I had a studio there in the late 1980s.
Our paths didn’t overlap much as he spent most of his later life in London painting his remembrances of Australia. Sidney Nolan and I have quite different styles of art, but I am grateful for the interest, encouragement and family genes that fostered my career in art.