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Arnold Shore

In their own words

Recorded 1962

Arnold Shore
Audio: 2 minutes

If I was walking along the street, I might be doing what a lot of other people are doing. I might be going to a shop to buy something to eat or to get a drink, or I might be going to meet somebody. But as a painter you’re always looking at things, a big percentage of your time anyway, if not always, you’re looking at things with a painter’s eye. You’re noticing the colours and the shapes and the textures that you see about you. You also – you’re not lacking in humanity – you also notice people, that people look sad or sick or happy and so on, when you see them. You see a drunk and you step out of his way if you think he’s going to be pugnacious, and so on, or you laugh at him if he’s just happy. But as a painter you look for these colours and these shapes, and you’re thinking of your job. It might sound awful to talk about painting as a job, but it is a job just like anything else.

And another thing, I’m breaking in on myself, but I believe that a cricketer or a footballer or a golf player, that they are when they’re at the best, that they’re in the same position as the artist; they’re using their knowledge and their skill and their feeling to do something. There is a difference: the golfer when he dies, he’s dead except in the memory of people who remember that he won a certain competition or that he put up some record round, but he doesn’t leave anything behind him except that. The artist if he’s lucky, and the world’s lucky, does leave things behind him and there’s a peculiar quality about a work of art, is that once it’s created by a man who combines knowledge and feeling – it doesn’t matter whether he’s a primitive, a caveman, an Aboriginal artist in the bush, or a painter in a studio in one of the great cities of the world, a Rembrandt or a Velasquez – once they create a work of art that really is a work of art, it never loses its quality. Art doesn’t progress; it changes.

 

Acknowledgements

This oral history of Arnold Shore is from the De Berg Collection in the National Library of Australia. For more information, or to hear full versions of the recordings, visit the National Library of Australia website.

Audio source

National Library of Australia, Hazel de Berg collection

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Arnold Shore

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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