Author(s): Beagle Press
Kevin Connor b. 1932, is a major Australian painter and draughtsman whose career covers more than six decades. He has won the Archibald Prize on two occasions and the Dobell Drawing Prize twice. He is represented in all major Australian public collections as well as in private collections here and overseas. He has travelled widely, but the main focus of his work has been the city of Sydney where he lives and works. Connor sees Sydney as an organic, ever changing metropolis that moves with the same rhythms as all the great cities of the world. The subjects of his paintings are the inner city suburbs: Pyrmont, Haymarket, East Sydney, Newtown and Redfern through which Connor has created an original and unique vision. He is an indefatigable and passionate draughtsman who considers the activity of drawing "as a form of meditation and seeing" and says that "out of my drawings comes everything". This important period of Connor's work, 1983--2016, is discussed by Elizabeth Hastings. She delves into the creative imagination of this singular and fascinating artist and helps us to understand the complexities of his powerful works. AUTHOR: Elizabeth Hastings graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in 1992. Her career began at the Bendigo Art Gallery where she curated a number of successful exhibitions and was instrumental in raising funds for the gallery's major redevelopment in the mid 1990s. In 1996 she was awarded the Harold Wright Scholarship for the study of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum in London. She remained in London for a further five years, where she joined the staff of the venerable art auction house, Sotheby's and absorbed the challenging complexities of the international art market. She returned to Australia in 2001 and worked for Deutscher-Menzies Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers as a Senior Art Specialist before managing the contemporary art space, Liverpool Street Gallery from 2004 to 2009. It was here that she met Kevin Connor and developed a deep respect for the artist and his work. Since 2010, Elizabeth has been privileged to act as private curator for John Symond AM. In association with The Beagle Press, Elizabeth produced 'Wingadal: The John Symond Collection' in 2013 and 'Wingadal', the story of John Symond's residence, in 2015. 'Kevin Connor: Paintings and Drawings 1983--2016' is her third collaboration with The Beagle Press. The book contains 164 plates and includes paintings, gouaches, drawings and sculpture.