An exhibition by Laurie Collins from Red Hat Gallery, Jindivich
Well, in 2019 I am about to be a 65year old 6 ft 4 inch bearded male.
I am now retired from teaching and working full time at my art. I have been making stuff for years, ever since I did my teaching course at Melbourne State College in Arts and Craft (B.Ed). It was a great course and we did subjects such as painting, drawing, woodcraft, sculpture, printmaking, metal craft, textiles, design, art history, psychology and many more .
Before that I used to make and draw things but with much less focus.
I was an only child of Lyla and Eddie Collins born in September 1954 and I went to:
West Preston State School,
Preston Tech( an all boys school in those days),
Preston Institute of Technology (3 girls) and
RMIT( Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)( Lots of girls)
Melb State College( now Melb uni) .
I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a kid and followed through with my friends doing the science stream leading to starting a civil engineering degree. I got chicken pox at the end of year exams and scraped a pass in most subjects.
I thought I could do better and repeated the year at RMIT and also did an architecture course in the evening. This introduced me to life drawing (where do I look!!) and art history. I had a friend doing the Art and Craft teachers course at Melbourne State College and this sounded great, especially when they were offering studentships.
At RMIT I met my future wife Marian, (a radiographer) and we ended up living together in her rented house in North Melbourne (Molesworth St). She worked at the Children’s Hospital and I worked part time as a paper boy and gardener. We married in 1976.
When I finished my course I was posted to Mortlake (Western Victoria) and we spent about 7 years there. Marian worked at Warrnambool Base Hospital and I worked at Mortlake High School. I started making small boxes, natural edged mirrors and Red- Gum pedestals.
I sold artwork to Ishka, Rosies, Donvale Craft Cottage. We had three children, Kathleen, Emily and Caleb and lived on a 20 acre hobby farm at the foot of Mt Shadwell.
We then moved to Warragul and I taught at Drouin Secondary College.
Opening Night Speeches
Marian used to work at West Gippsland Hospital and I did a welding course at Warragul Tafe and decided to use these new skills to make other arty crafty items (Thanks Phil and Greg). We did most of the initial work in my garage in Albert Rd (sorry neighbours) and then moved to a 2 acre place at Jindivick where I have built a shed (studio) which I periodically add to then clutter up. I am the messiest person in the area but have been known to be friendly to furry animals and small children.
Since then I have sold work at Town and Country Gallery in Yarragon, Ishka (10 stores in Melbourne) Outhouse, Fitzworks, Mirboo North Art show and Drouin and Warragul art shows. My CV shows more of the actual art exhibitions
I taught Design and Technology as well as Metalwork, Pedal and Power, Art, Woodwork and anything else they threw at me. I have helped teams in Tournament of the Minds, been on and ran some camps and really value kids developing their creativity through being challenged to develop their ideas
Now I am retired I work most of the day in my shed although I try to get out for part of the day so I don't turn into more of a hermit. I now have a sculpture garden here at Jindivick and am a sort of tourist attraction. In 2015 I built the Red Tree Gallery on the sculpture garden site and this shows my small works and other local artists work on a monthly basis
We try to do a trip each year to broaden our horizons and in 2011 we went to Canada, mainly B.C and a bit of Alberta. In 2014 I went to Thailand to participate in an arts festival at Raja Mangala Uni and also Phitsanlok Uni. In 2015, I went to Thailand again to participate in the art workshop at Raja Mangala Uni ( Poh Chang) and since then the new Red Tree Gallery (on the site of Laurie Collins Sculpture Garden) has been opened and has started having exhibitions of other people’s work as well as my own.
In 2019 I went to Vietnam to participate in an art workshop and exchange at Danang and this was both challenging and very positive.
Good on ya,