Georgie Gall left Geelong to chase her professional dreams, but reconnected with her childhood home through art.
As LUKE VOOGT discovers, you can take the girl out of Geelong, but you can’t take Geelong out of the girl.
Georgie Gall’s windswept seascapes help her stay connected to her childhood home.
“A lot of my work comes from memories,” she says. “Every summer we would spend time at Anglesea and Barwon Heads.”
The Seaview Gallery artist regularly returns to the coastal surrounds of Geelong, like “the banks of the Barwon River”, in her artistic journeys.
“Some of my paintings are definitely based on the Bellarine Peninsula,” she says. “It helps me stay connected to the region.”
The 49-year-old grew up in Newtown but left Geelong in 1987 to chase her career in Sydney.
“I went as an accountant but came back as an artist,” she says.
She began taking art classes in 2002, to escape the pace and pressure of professional life in the big smoke.
“It was an outlet and a bit of fun with a couple of girlfriends,” she says. “I just got tired of the work.”
Later Georgie would discover Impasto, a form of painting whose exponents include art legends Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Layers of paint and resin create three-dimensional shapes in her work, which seem to “jump out” at the viewer.
“I certainly started with flatter painting,” she says. “I found my niche through the texture – I think I stumbled upon it.”
Georgie says her work is “better in the flesh” and likes how light can alter it.
“The painting takes on a different look and form, it changes throughout the day and night.”
The effect on viewers is most pronounced in her portrayal of a wheat field in Euroa, she says.
“They think the wheat’s been dipped in paint and stuck on.”
Georgie has frequently returned to Barwon Heads and Anglesea to visit her family since leaving Geelong.
“I bring down sketch books and I take lots of photographs,” she says.
She based her latest body of works, Late Afternoon Sun and Towards the Bluff, on Curlewis and Barwon Heads.
“Lake Connewarre and Swan Bay also provided some inspiration for green salty wetlands riverbank landscapes,” she says.
“And Point Lonsdale front beach has featured in some of my seascapes in the past.”
Georgie married husband David at the Geelong Art Gallery and both great-grandfather Horace Frank Richardson and grandfather Frank Evan Richardson were Geelong mayors.
She says her move to Toorak (Melbourne) two years ago has strengthened her connection to Geelong – along with her art.
“I think it’s flourishing more now because I’m closer to where I grew up.”