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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 both past and present.

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Reinis Zusters

In their own words

Recorded 1965

Reinis Zusters
Audio: 2 minutes

When I was a child, I got my inspiration in my own children’s way by observing nature. For instance, when I looked [at the] sun shining through the trees, I got [a] sort of feeling that I had to record but just at that particular stage I didn’t know how to, and this is my reason how I started to think that I wanted to be a painter.

When I was in school, I was very keen of recording my fellow children in the class, or my playmates, in all sorts of actions, like, for instance, running, sitting or reading books, always got very great joy out of doing those things. When I was in school my real inspiration came from one of my teachers, who, by observing my way of doing things, he said I definitely had to be an artist and had to follow my inner voice, my inner expressions, and that’s how I started to sell my heart to art.

My way of painting, you wouldn’t call it abstract. Some critics say some of my painting is like modern Impressionism. Well, sometimes I feel myself that I like to balance to the edge of abstract painting because I got lots of power from abstract painting but at the same time I would like to have sort of hint of some natural elements in a painting, because I feel if the artist paints in pure abstract the gap between artist and the painting is too big and the message can’t be passed over.

Acknowledgements

This oral history of Reinis Zusters 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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Reinis Zusters

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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 both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency