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  • Writer's pictureJillAnsell

Packed Away

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

Yes, I’m back in my case phase. If Picasso can have his blue period I can be allowed to have my old luggage period. And as I’ve said before - it justifies my junk collection.

This piece is a tribute of sorts to my Grandfather, William Isaac Ansell. He was in his youth a very good painter, but packed his brushes and paints away to earn a living at a far more reliable trade - carpentry. He was born in 1905, lived through the Depression and World War ll and also fathered five sons - all a little difficult to support through art income. (Thank Heavens I don’t have to rely on carpentry to support myself or anyone else, as I’d make even less money than I do painting- I also thank Heaven I don’t have 5 sons or I’d never get the time for even a quick sketch).

I worked on this for the Victoria Park Art Award as Grandad (Bill) spent some of his youth living in McMillan street , Victoria Park and I have been given some old negatives of his sister Ethel’s, that include images of their house, a very young, relaxed and handsome Bill and an image that shows his paintings on an easel in this house. I used the image of Bill as a young man then collaged in other photos and items that were either his or related to his life choices and era. Donations came from Peter, my Mum, who found a 1927 newspaper at short notice ( ! ) and my brother David who produced a rusted old tin of Grandad’s to be glued in.

While I painted the portrait of Bill from Ethel’s tiny snapshot, other family members emerged. At various stages he was my Uncle, a cousin and another cousin’s son. I haven’t quite got his face perfectly, but it’s close and the deadline has arrived. The painting on the right is by Bill Ansell and dated 1920. He was fifteen. The Victoria Park Art Award opens next Saturday at the Recreation Centre and Art Centre.

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