In the meantime, I was involved in my secondary school exam preparations and about a week before our final year exams began I was informed that I had been accepted into Australia’s most prestigious art school. My exams ended up being a breeze, as I had no pressure. I ended up getting good results and felt that I had an extraordinarily bright future to look forward to. My art school days were exciting right from the start. I met many inspiring people, both students and lecturers. I created deep friendships and as fate would have it, I ended up in a five-year tumultuous relationship with the very same young woman that I met in the cafe the year before. Her name was Barbara and she was beautiful. Just what a young man fresh out of the confines of four long years at an all boys boarding school needed.
It was also a time of much experimentation both artistically and personally for myself and for many of my contemporaries. Even though I saw other students developing ambition to go on to do postgraduate and masters degrees, that wasn’t for me at the time.
It wasn’t until after I had returned from Europe following my art school days that I further developed my career options by doing a teacher training.
Exposure to international art in London and Europe, in the early eighties, encouraged me to pursue my career as a full time artist. One defining moment was experienced at the Tate Gallery in London, nineteen eighty-one. In a gallery space devoted to Mark Rothko, the American abstract expressionist, I experienced the depth of and commitment in his work. The exhibition moved me to tears, and provided a level of inspiration that I hadn’t experienced until that point. Another Rothko piece (from a different period), seen several years later while visiting the National Gallery of Victoria, filled me with the same feeling of understanding. Looking back, with the benefit of experience, I can say that it was the sincerity and purity from within his paintings that moved me.