DAVID Bromley is sitting on the banks of the Torrens River in Adelaide, watching a little boy chase two swans by the waters edge; “’Art is all around you, I get most of my visuals from my imagination – but this is brilliant’,” he says.
Bromley, whose art can be seen all around the world, is bringing an exclusive exhibition, Kaleidoscope, to Perth’s Claremont Quarter from June 12.
Kaleidoscope is a collection of the artist’s favourite things, from his signature nudes to his lovingly drawn illustrations that could be taken straight from a Boy’s Own Annual to his mixed medium sculptures.
“There are a few pieces in this exhibition that I really love, my favourite things. There is a sense of happiness and enchantment with my life and my environment right now which I think comes out in my work,” he said.
Part of that enchantment might come from his newfound love of Byron Bay, where he now spends a large chunk of his time, flitting between there and Melbourne.
“I spend about 79 per cent of my time in Byron Bay and people say that must be a nice mix, but I could probably be there 99 per cent of the time. When I’m in Byron and the sun is shining and I’m under a palm tree working, then I really don’t want to leave,” he said.
“Although I do spend time in both places, I think it’s really nice to have a sense of home. It’s not just picking up a paintbrush and a palette for me, my work is a reasonably large practice, I work in a large scale and with a lot of different mediums.”
Bromley’s exhibitions never travel, choosing one city to spend their time in, which is similar to the artist himself who said he never flies.
“I grew up in Adelaide and I know there was a sense of missing out on things that never used to be shown there and Perth is the same,” he said.
“So I wanted to do an exhibition in Perth that would just stay in Perth. If it travels then there is a sense of pieces missing that have been bought, so wherever it goes after, it’s never quite the same.
“I think this exhibition has a nice sense of energy. Everything kind of meshes together, which is where the kaleidoscope idea comes in. I’m a believer in putting a body of work together that between it all tells a bigger picture and I think this exhibition does that.”
Bromley’s signature nudes with their stripes of paint feature strongly in Kaleidoscope, and when asked about the stripe he said he doesn’t recall how it first came to be.
“You know, I can’t quite remember, but I think it might have been an accident,” he said.
“Really The nudes are about the eyes more than anything. The eyes are the key to the soul and putting the stripe over them, almost makes them like a mask, – they draw you in.”
What: David Bromley’s Kaleidoscope
Where: Claremont Quarter
When: June 12 to July 12