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Brian Wood

By James Forbes April 07, 2017

Brian Woods paintings have to be seen to be believed. It would take years for anyone to become completely familiar with all of its contents. Brian effortlessly merges large imagery with surrounding collaged imagery that blends together to tell a story and more often than not many sub-stories that will have viewers asking more questions than they will have answered.


He was born in London 19th August 1948, grew up in Tolworth, Surrey, eventually emigrating to Australia with his family. He left school aged 16 and served an apprenticeship in the printing industry as a machine minder. In that vocation he was a lost cause. He was aware of an ability to draw from an early age but only became interested in painting whilst recovering from a broken leg at the age of 20, never regarding it as any more than a hobby. On completion of his apprenticeship he joined the Australian Army, serving in Vietnam as an infantryman come photographer, working in less than ideal conditions. His duties called for him to photographically record his battalions tour for intelligence purposes as well as posterity. He was also prevailed upon to sketch for newsletters etc. After his discharge in 1972, he decided to travel on a working holiday which included working on an oil rig in the North Sea before travelling extensively in Europe, South America and Africa. He settled in South Africa for a period of time working in various jobs and experimenting more seriously with art. He returned to Australia where he accepted a position with the Port of Melbourne Authority’s Emergency Service, performing a number of duties but chiefly concerned with construction and salvage diving. During this period his recreation was his painting and he is completely self-taught. Entries into specific exhibitions led to modest recognition by acceptance into the Australian Guild of Realist Artists and the securing of several private commissions. His interest in historical subjects, mainly maritime, has been with him since childhood. Due to developments beyond his control, his employment with the Port Authority ceased in mid 1991 and he embarked on painting full time. This resulted in his winning a First Prize Award in Sydney’s Royal Easter Show for 1993 with Culloden - The Aftermath, which is now hanging in Aros - Isle of Skye Heritage Centre in Scotland. He now lives on the shores of Moreton Bay, Queensland and outside of his occupation of painting; sailing is his main recreation - a natural extension of his interest in the sea.

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