The unorthodox life journey of artist Joshua Yeldham will be laid bare when he gives a free talk at Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah on Sunday (27 August).
The unconventional Sydney-based artist will speak about his exhibition Endurance, on display at the Gallery until 10 December, and his story of a ‘sensitive boy’ who endured bullying, a literacy challenges and an unsympathetic school system to become one of Australia’s most original artists.
Yeldham draws from a deep spiritual affiliation with the land and a love of nature, creating art that entwines narrative and myth, imagination and experience.
Working across painting, photography, drawing and sculpture, he has developed a singular aesthetic that combines various mediums such as his pierced and carved photographs, his characteristic oil paintings, and large-scale paper works.
Yeldham is also an enthralling and humorous storyteller and will share his learning journey – from the heart-breaking to the bizarre.
A small boy struggling with undiagnosed dyslexia, he was a boarder at an exclusive Sydney school from the age of eight and was regularly taunted and tormented by his ‘big-boned’ fellow students.
He seized an opportunity to reinvent himself when he was 14, moving with his mother to Switzerland and studying at the prestigious Aiglon College.
Yeldham was inspired by his ‘mountain men’ teachers who were ‘strong men but they weren’t aggressive’ and he threw himself into physical challenges.
It was another chapter in his unorthodox approach to physical and academic challenges and introduced him to skiing, navigation, mountain climbing and caving, throwing him into nature.
A succession of great art teachers throughout his education was also telling and he went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, then became an award-winning film maker.
Endurance is the product of Yeldham’s term at the Gallery’s Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio in February, when he was invited to explore the waterways and surrounding scenery of the Northern Rivers.
His free talk will be held in the Withey Family Gallery from 2pm.