Thursday 24th August to Sunday 27th August, Morpeth Art Gallery, l0am to 5pm daily, 5 Green Street Morpeth NSW 2321, admission free.

Memories and experiences from time lived in Australia’s outback have inspired Australian artist Max Mannix throughout his career.

Max’s artworks are based on iconic bush scenes of people, places and experiences he has come across throughout his life living in Swan Hill in Victoria where he was born in 1939, to mustering camps and shearing sheds in South West Queensland.

In particular Max reflects on his time in the 1970s as a manager of a large cattle property at Thargomindah in south west Queensland in his works. Thargomindah is a one pub town. The pub is run by Surly Shirl, one of the great characters of the outback and typical of the people Max paints.

“They say the strength of a nation can be measured by the humour of its people. If that’s the case then I reckon Australia would have to be the greatest nation on Earth. The characters I remember most are the larrikins and the jokers, you know, the real characters. They’re the ones who can show you what life is about,” said Max.

After painting and sketching from a young age and throughout his working life on properties, it wasn’t until Max moved to the Central Coast in NSW in the early 1980s when his work started to gain some traction.

Max has been inspired by four artists – Vincent Van Gogh, Peter Breughel the Elder, Russell Drysdale and Thomas Hart Benton.

“Some people say Max’s work looks like Pro Harts but Max’s paintings capture the iconic Australian ways in his own amusing style with a great amount of detail included in every work.  Max’s brushstrokes are fine and purposely placed,” said Morpeth Gallery owner Trevor Richards.

Now, more than 30 years later, Max still finds himself in the studio at his home six days a week painting the similar established themes and scenarios.

“I never tire of painting the established themes and scenarios of the bush, but every so often I like to branch out including palette knife paintings, Sydney Harbour cityscapes, nudes, contemporary landscapes, a series I call Lawyers and nursery rhyme characters inspired by the grandkids.”

Trevor Richards says from a collector’s perspective Max Mannix is very collectable and can be found in significant private and corporate collection not only in Australia, but around the world.

“His work has continued to increase in value over the last decade, and with Max now 78 years young it will more than likely continue its upward trajectory,” said Trevor Richards.

In addition to many reproductions of Max’s works as prints, books, calendars and other products, Max has also been a Finalist in the Sulman Prize (2015) and Finalist in the Wynne Prize (2014), and is sought after on both the primary and secondary art markets.

Come into Morpeth Gallery and see what people around the world have fallen in love with from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th August for Max Mannix’s only solo exhibition.