IT TOOK the love of a Tamworth woman to get him to stop his global wanderings – and now surrealist painter Chris McKenzie has his very own solo exhibition opening tomorrow night.
The God, Dust & Wind art exhibition kicks off at 6pm at the Andrea Bruno art studio (entrance behind the Central Hotel).
The exhibition features 17 oil paintings created over a period of seven months, with the biggest, The Last Stand, measuring 2m x 3m and taking 300 hours to complete.
Going under the very tongue-in-cheek name of Sir Real McKenzie, Chris reckons he has drawn a huge amount of his surrealist inspiration from travelling.
Three years ago he cycled from China to India through the Mekong jungle.
He was also a chef for 18 years in countries such as New Zealand, China, the UK and Africa.
“I’ve done a lot of travel; Mother Nature serves you the most surreal images in the world ... life offers much to the eyes of a hungry artist,” he said.
He met Tamworth native Jenny Clarke on the Atherton Tablelands and now calls our city home; they have an eight-month-old son.
“She is my foil and my soil – she’s allowed me to plant my roots in the ground so I can flower,” Chris said.
He said his exhibition represented “a lot of time and a lot of work”.
He’s been painting and drawing his whole life; his first exhibition was held in Brisbane when he was 18.
Chris has been inspired by the landscape around Tamworth and
surrounding areas and now paints often with four other passionate artists at Ms Bruno’s studio – Will Witts, Danny Stanley, Kate Kennedy and Ms Bruno herself, in a recently formed group called OAK.
The exhibition is open until November 30.