We’ve kicked off our 2014 calendar of exhibits in Crucible Gallery in colourful fashion with ‘Summer Soul’ – our latest BCM curated exhibition. Our gallery walls (and some of BCM Reception) are awash with a collection of vibrant works by local artist Ron ‘Ronzo’ Weideman.
Ron, an ex-ad industry creative, grew up in the cold winter climes of Detroit (the US automotive capital), but these days he calls Brisbane home. He became hooked on Australia’s famous beaches and the cruisy, chilled lifestyle that the beach and surfing instils, after arriving on our shores many moons ago. And although nowadays he’s hung up his board and doesn’t hit the waves any longer, beach culture and the surf have remained his artistic creative focus ever since. He also draws inspiration from his friends and beach-loving family, along with a diverse range of artists, from surrealist Dali, to photographer Helmut Newton and avant-garde Australian painter Brett Whiteley. Ron’s sons feature in a number of his works.
Ron beautifully captures the unique play of colour and light that makes the beach such a special place – the bright golden tones of the dunes and the dappled blues and greens of the surf – in all their many and varied hues that are typical of a long, hot Aussie summer at the coast.
His work is highly sought after by collectors in Australia and overseas, and he’s prominently featured in galleries who specialise in surf artists.
In our ‘Summer Soul’ collection, the dazzling ‘Red Swimmer’ portrays a red-costumed swimmer bathed in sunlight just beneath the waves, whilst ‘Blue Swimmer’ features a long-haired, swimming-goggled devotee of the sea floating almost god-like in vivid dark blue waters.
Other works on display feature tanned, curvaceous sun worshippers, along with surfer ‘dudes’ and bikini-clad surfer ‘chicks’ on the waves. ‘Golden Beach’ and ‘Agrum Beach’ take the viewer high above to gaze down on groups of beach-goers luxuriating atop multi-coloured beach towels or sheltering from the sun under striped beach umbrellas. ‘Cylinder Bay’ and ‘Rapid Bay’ are more abstract interpretations of aerial beach views, defined by brilliant splashes of lively colour. Fun, playful names that Ron uses to title some of his works – such as ‘Bonza Beach’, ‘Beach Bum’ and ‘A Thousand Miles Away’ pay further cheeky homage to Aussie beach culture.
Ron loves the vibrancy of working with oils for their intense colours and textures, and he has recently ventured beyond the traditional canvas to sculptural pieces – with a small selection of his painted surfboards; ‘Blue Beauty’, and the adorned ‘Little Bottler I and II’ completing our collection.
He says an artist must make his subjects live – from his experience, his knowledge, his head, his heart and all there is of him, and loves involving the viewer in his artwork, allowing them entry and participation into the work itself. And I, for one, think that he does that perfectly. Looking at Ron’s work, it is easy to be transported away, just for moment to a beautiful summer’s day – the feel of the soft (sometimes hot!) sand under foot and the cool, churning rush of salty water as you dive in.
I’m off to mentally dip my toes into the cool, greeny-blue waters for a moment when I step into the gallery in my lunch break.
‘Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air’ by Ralph Waldo Emerson is an adage Ron ‘Ronzo’ Weideman clearly holds close to his heart. I think that motto beautifully sums up Ron’s work – the joyous, carefree spirit his paintings instil and their ability to transport you (albeit temporarily) to another place.
Outside of our ‘Summer Soul’ exhibition currently showing in Crucible, an extensive collection of Ron’s work is also viewable here .
Kate Holloway is a Marketing Executive at BCM