Michael Rubbo - Travels with My Art - Wednesday 6th December

To be launched by Bob Connolly


While making Vincent and Me (a film about a young girl’s encounter with Vincent van Gogh) Michael found himself having to re-create 30 van Gogh paintings, real enough to pass for originals on the screen. In doing so he discovered he loved the swirling brushstrokes of the artist and the way Vincent plugged into the energy fields in nature. It was the beginning for Michael of becoming as much a painter as a filmmaker as he moved outside to paint what he saw, loving the wind buffeting his canvases, bugs landing in the sticky paint, and conversations with passers-by.

Travels With My Art tells the story of how this inspiration led to the images he now presents so vividly in his memoir, how painting like his films, became personal. In the back story, well told with photographs, we discover art was very much in Rubbo’s family, that his grandfather, the famous painter and teacher, Antonio Dattilo Rubbo, both and inspired and scared him as a little boy. ADR, who taught amongst others, Grace Cossington Smith, Arthur Murch and Roland Wakelin, is credited as one of the fathers of Australian Modernism. His mother, Ellen Rubbo, a wonderful painter herself, also encouraged her firstborn, dragging him off as a teenager on a painting holiday to Fiji. A life of art was not though what his father, the eminent microbiologist, Sidney Rubbo, had in mind for his son.

In the seventies. Rubbo’s sister Kiffy would become a champion of feminist and avant-garde art. When she died tragically in 1980, Michael’s art became for a while, very dark. Michael covers all the major turning points in his life, childhood, early love affairs, Kiffy’s death, his happiness through marrying the lovely Russian, Katerina Korolkevich Rubbo, the birth of their daughter Ellen, and the timely invitation to come back to Australia to head ABC documentaries.

In his memoir, Michael also celebrates the idea that art is not only personal but, like his films, often socially engaged. His bicycle art celebrates the stately style of cycling practiced in Europe as a way to ride here too. Lastly, he shows us his village of Avoca Beach and his battle to save, through film and painting, the lovely Avoca Beach Theatre from becoming a multiplex.

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Date and time: Wednesday 6th December, 6pm for 6.30pm

Please RSVP here or phone 02 9660 2333

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