Has Anyone Seen The Openner 50.5cm x 40.5cm Original Oil on Board by Max Mannix
Fishing outback rivers and water holes has immeasurable pleasures; whether these are catching prolific numbers of fish, dining on yabbies or freshwater shrimp or to further reference Banjo Paterson, “Sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,”
… “of pleasures townsfolk will never know “. Whether you are on the Warrego, Cooper, Paroo, Bulloo or some of the better sections of the tributaries to the Murray Darling the fishing can be fantastic, and mixed with the history of explorers, cattle kings and sheep stations, the outback has so much to offer. But it can be thirsty work and here Max has captured the age old problem of finding the bottle opener.
The vastness and solitude of the outback is something you can immerse yourself in. If you were to travel from Sydney in a north westerly direction to the back of Bourke then your trek will take you across numerous streams flowing west into the Murray Darling Basin. It seems only a few short years back as kids we would have annual sojourns to the Darling River where European carp were unheard of. Golden perch, Murray cod, catfish, and silver perch were abundant. If the water was clear enough, lures trolled behind the boat were smashed with such regularity that at times the “old blokes “would make us keep the lines in as they would say “it will take ages to get back to camp at this rate “.
Max is an Australian artist schooled out in the bush among the colourful characters he now paints. His vivid paintings are possible because he “knows” every character he paints he has worked, laughed, cried and sweated with them all. This knowledge and love of his subjects produces pieces that are so “human” that each piece has its own personality. Every painting has a story, but Max is a painter of “yarns”, Australian vernacular for a story with a moral and a laugh. The experiences of those years Max spent in the outback; the memories of growing up in a small country town have provided Max with an endless flow of inspiration for his paintings. His works depict life in the outback as it was then, in a light-hearted vein keen insight and gentle humour that so keenly illustrates country Australians.
Max was born in Nyah-West Victoria near Swan Hill on the mighty Murray River in 1939. Max left home at the age of 16 to venture north and spent 20 years in the Australian working in mustering camps, shearing sheds, droving and fencing. From 1966 until1973 he managed a cattle station for Dalgety covering an area of 1300 sq. miles and carrying 8000 head of cattle and 300 working horses. This property was located near Thargomindah on the Bulloo River in the far south west of Queensland. Known as “Heart Break Corner” because of its lack of rain and long droughts.