It has been raining and the leaves are dripping. I am standing in a Peregian Beach back yard that extends into the Noosa National Park. There is no fence; no marker that defines where one ends and the other begins other than an overgrown fire break. An enormous Poinciana tree overhangs the area littered with paint tubes and cans, discarded brushes, cardboard and timber.
I am reminded sharply of images of Ian Fairweather at work. This chaos of colour and nature is Kurt Black’s art studio. He can’t work in-doors he says because he needs to be close to the elements. Only recently he added a shade shelter to protect his work- in-progress after several fraught midnight excursions to rescue his precious creation from sudden downpours.
His overalls and footwear are testament to his vigorous working methods; they are splattered with colour. The easel wedged against a robust Cyprus hangs with paint in various stages of rigamortis, and around the artist, tall and muscular, are the tools of trade: sand paper, hose with spray nozzle, spatulas of various ilks, and brushes of unidentifiable heritage.
Kurt Black’s approach is intense. He tells me that it is a battle of wills: his will against the will of the creative force. He laughs briefly at the irony because, he explains, it is only when he surrenders to the creative force that it all starts to come together.
I ask what tool he can’t do without and he pauses reflecting with a gaze aimed at the floor of his natural surrounds. This! He tells me. I can’t do without the open air… nature, freedom from four walls. I find this interesting because his work is structured. His is an ordered response to what he says is non-thought. Rectangular blocks of bold colour take up the 120 x 120 square of ply. He moves the images from easel to floor and back again, his spatula never far away.