Artist Profile

John
Waller

Born 1954, Mildura, Victoria

John Waller Anabranch, 2023 oil on linen 122 x 122cm $6,100 f

Artist Profile

John
Waller

Born 1954, Mildura, Victoria

‘Having grown up in a country town, far from any city, Waller knows what it is to live with the land and its rhythms. His awareness is broad. By chance, in youth, Waller found nearby indigenous remains of great antiquity; then later, in adulthood, he became an art advisor at an Aboriginal community in central Australia, forging friendships with tribal painters and gaining insights into their work.’

— Dr Christopher Heathcote

Waller’s oeuvre, imbued with the ineffable essence of the Australian landscape, serves as a testament to his intimate dialogue with the terrain. Rooted in the crucible of his upbringing amidst the austere beauty of the Mallee region, his artistic ethos reflects upon the enduring legacy of First Nations Peoples and the reverberations of post-colonial settlement, notably exemplified in the poignant narratives of the WW1 Soldier Settler Scheme.

Amidst the ethereal beauty captured within Waller’s artistic work lies a sobering acknowledgment of the fraught consequences wrought by post-colonial settlement upon Australia’s First Nations Peoples, particularly within the stark expanse of the Mallee region. The legacy of colonization casts a long shadow over the land, manifesting in a litany of injustices and inequities that continue to reverberate through generations. Thus, within Waller’s evocative renderings of the Australian Mallee, there exists a poignant acknowledgment of the complex interplay between colonialism and Indigenous resilience, underscoring the imperative of reckoning with the past and fostering pathways towards reconciliation and justice.

Echoes of personal reminiscence permeate Waller’s compositions, suffusing them with a palpable sense of nostalgia and introspection. His abstracted landscapes and emotive vignettes evoke a sensory odyssey, inviting viewers to traverse the contours of memory and perception.

In harnessing a chromatic palette characterized by muted earth tones, Waller orchestrates a symphony of hues that mirror the sublime majesty of the Australian landscape, forging an immersive tableau wherein observer and environment coalesce in harmonious communion.

As Waller navigates the liminal space between recollection and direct observation, his artistic journey transcends mere representation, culminating in a profound exploration of the symbiotic relationship between self and surroundings.

Artist film: John Waller by Peter Lamont

Artwork