ART has taken Tom Gleghorn a long way in life.
In his 94 years, Gleghorn has painted his way from the shores of Lake Macquarie, where he grew up, into galleries around the world.
His work has transported him to the Mediterranean, along the streets of London, and into the Australian outback. It has propelled him to the heights of Australian art, exhibiting with John Coburn, Donald Friend, and Robert Dickerson, and it has driven him deep into his own soul.
Gleghorn describes himself as ‘an ordinary man who has chosen painting as something to do’, but he is considered one of Australia’s finest and most influential abstract expressionists.
Yet no matter where he has gone, no matter where art has taken him, Tom Gleghorn has retained a strong connection to Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
‘It is sort of a home anchor,’ says Gleghorn, who lives in Adelaide. ‘It’s a huge part of my life, because I grew up there. A home away from home.’
Tom Gleghorn’s first solo exhibition of paintings was held at Newcastle Art Gallery in 1959. The show was opened by an admirer and collector of Gleghorn’s paintings, the Nobel Prize-winning writer Patrick White.
Sixty-one years after that exhibition, Tom Gleghorn is homeward bound, with Newcastle Art Gallery staging the first major survey of his work.
HOMEWARD BOUND: the art and life of Tom Gleghorn
will feature paintings and drawings from across the artist’s extraordinary career of more than 70 years. The works from private and public collections will allow the viewer to journey through Tom’s world, including his memories in paint of the lake and Newcastle of his youth.
Ultimately, in HOMEWARD BOUND
, we can see how far Tom Gleghorn has come, how deeply he has explored, and how much this region has shaped him and has inspired his art.
Scott Bevan, July 2019
Drought landform no. 2 1965
mixed media on board
91.4 x 60.8cm
Bequeathed in 2003 by Anne von Bertouch OAM through the NRAG Foundation
Newcastle Art Gallery collection
Courtesy the artist