Matthew Jamieson and Carly Baker-Burnham with Gil Jamieson's 1977 painting 'Gannets Diving'.
Matthew Jamieson and Carly Baker-Burnham with Gil Jamieson's 1977 painting 'Gannets Diving'. Sam Turner

Monto artist's works to be exhibited for first time in 20yrs

A RETROSPECTIVE art experience will be coming to Monto to inspire and influence.

Monto artist Gil Jamieson will have his surreal paintings, spanning from the 1960s to the 1990s, showcased at the iconic Rex Theatre for the 'Resurrection' exhibit on October 25.

Having not being viewed publicly for over 20 years, his works have been lovingly held in his art studio, until now.

Gil captivated audiences across Australia with his expressionist style and interpretation of Australia's landscape.

Chair of The Rex Monto Ltd Carley Baker-Burnham said she was excited about the upcoming exhibition.

"We've seen bookings from across Queensland, including Brisbane, Sydney, Byron Bay and more,” Mrs Baker-Burnham said.

"Gil was quite well known widely in the art world, with there being a real desire in the community for this to happen, especially from the generation of Gil's age.”

The exhibition coincides with Monto's initiative to return The Rex to its glory days of a cultural hub.

This showcase has been made possible by a long friendship between Mrs Baker-Burnham and Gil's son Matthew, as they've planned to share Gil's work for quite some time.

Discussing his father's career beginnings and inspirations, Matthew stated how his father was a pivotal person in Australian art.

"After getting rheumatic fever in national service, they suggested to my father to become a painter rather than a farmer,” Matthew said.

"He then moved to Brisbane, but he didn't fit in well there and eventually moved to Melbourne to joined the Antipodeans.

"There he was a part of a movement of Australian painters who were painting the bush.

"The difference with Gil was that he was from the outback, and he had a perspective of things from there.”

Following this stint in Victoria, he returned back to his home town of Monto to work with cattle, while still exploring his creative outlets.

"He had a strong connection to things in the natural world in the bush, with us spending a lot of time within the landscape.”

Gil would often travel to north Queensland, Kakadu National Park, the Gulf and other areas for inspiration.

"He'd often go on these three month long gouache trips, where he'd paint two a day of his surroundings.

"Then once he returned he'd put on a show in Monto, and people in the surrounding areas who were interested in art would come to buy these paintings.”

Gil would continue to culturally contribute to the town of Monto, while even running cattle to support his family.

"He even had the chance to paint the Monto Shire council chambers in 1976 after the drought.

"The council then in fact loaned the painting to the Queensland government where it hung there for some time.”

Confessing that his father was never commercially driven, he believed Gil had other motives for continuing his art career.

"He did it because he loved it, and it was his life.”

The event is cocktail dress and will run from 7pm-11pm with wine and canapes provided.

If you'd like to purchase tickets to this event, head here.

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