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Daylesford VIC, and Chiang Mai, Thailand
Extending on from his beginnings as an award-winning underground cartoonist in the 70’s, Roger is fascinated with how the intuitive mind conjures compositions with their own aesthetic logic.
Before he became a singer and songwriter in the late ‘70’s and ‘80’s, Roger was an art student at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Of that time he says:
‘… the trouble was I was too young. I didn’t have the maturity to understand what I was trying to do with my visual work … which is why, after leaving art school, I switched focus to the more facile satisfaction of drawing black and white cartoons for various underground publications, and singing and writing songs for my bands, the most notable of which was The Little Heroes … but though I was quite successful with my songs, the margins of all my song books kept getting filled with drawings … so it was always there, waiting, the most pure expression of my heart …’
After leaving the music industry in the late ‘80’s, Roger went into a period of review, spending a number of years practicing Vipassana meditation in monasteries throughout SE Asia:
‘… it was during this time that a fascination began to form itself in my core, an inarticulate aesthetic urge that I needed to pursue, which could only be expressed visually. Trouble was, I got diverted into writing books, which took up the next couple of decades …’
Over the next two decades, Roger wrote four books – two non-fiction books about meditation, and two novels – the two novels being ‘Levin’s God’ and the most recent, ‘Sweet Emptiness’ – and the two books about meditation, ‘Happy to Burn’ and ‘Being Still’.
‘… maybe I had to get all the words and ideas out of my head so I could settle into the more intuitive process of making pictures.’
Roger now devotes himself to making pictures and writing his final book, a memoir titled ‘This Perfect Life’. He divides his time between living in Chiangmai in Thailand, and living in Denver, a small town in rural Victoria, Australia.
Of his picture making he says:
‘… each image leads to the next, in a journey to an intriguing place. The underlying aesthetic has been with me so long its embedded in my intuitive mind, so I figure now, all I have to do is keep going.
‘… as far as selling my pictures goes, I try not to think about it too much. So I’ve taken the simplest route, selling them through personal relationships and online, largely because I’m not good at dealing with business things, and I hate asking for money. I learnt from my experiences in the music industry that when it comes to creative work and the energy that drives it, it’s fatal to combine it with business. So I just make the pictures and they go where they go, and that’s that.’
When asked why his recent focus was on drawings instead of painting larger works, he says:
‘… well, the drawings are quite large, but yes, they are no substitute for the comparative gravitas of a larger painting. Thing is, I’ve been living out of a travel pack for over twenty years now, and with no studio to work in I’ve had to keep everything portable. But having said that, my over-riding intention is to begin a series of canvas’s as soon as possible … but I first have to settle into a place where I can make a bit of a mess. And that hasn’t shown up yet …’