Tony Lloyd is that rare breed of pure romantic artist who has somehow managed to break the code and lived an unwaveringly positive and successful art career spanning over 20 years.
His secrete is a simple one, he loves to paint.
And this he does daily, living the self-employed life of the artist he has formed his own routine and wrapped his practice in a fairly strict process. His studio is one of order and logic, leaving the shambolic artist myth far behind. There is no leeway for procrastination, he has an amazing work ethic that has developed beauty and deep substance into his painting.
Depending on their size his paintings take between 2 weeks and several months to complete. His brush stroke is painstakingly intricate and exacting evoking a cinematic presence that runs pervasively throughout his practice.
Tony’s paintings pay homage to dusk, twilight and a consequent dreamy timelessness.
He works from a studio in Hawthorn Arts center in Melbourne and has landed the old caretaker’s apartment high upon the roof, it is the perfect location for this solitary painter.
The recurring themes in his paintings include roads, night time, twilight, the colour blue, mountains, chiaroscuro. Noticeably there is an absence of people from these dreamlike landscapes. Tony intentionally leaves figures out forcing the viewer to make up their own story with his work.
Personally, I feel a peaceful isolation and looming quite when I look at Tony’s painting and am unsurprised to learn that he works in silence, kept company by the work and the simple sounds of human activity drifting up from the street below.
In Tony’s recent work I read a powerful environmental theme. The paintings show us the grand and encompassing beauty of the natural landscape then renders this world unstable with unnatural positioning of such artifice as light sources and large floating rocks. People are once again absent and in this world it is as if nature will prevail, perhaps alter, but continue on while Mankind may not be so fortunate. The intrigue of Tony’s painting is the varying interpretations a viewer can garner.
The conclusion of Tony’s workday ends the silence and solo endevour, he steps out onto the street and into the hustle of the city, breaking away from the dreamy state of his practice.
As Tony strolls the half hour walk home he will often be listening to podcasts,
In Our Time from the BBC is a favourite; the topics ranging from historical figures, scientific theories, poetry and art.
Out of his workspace Tony is heavily involved in the art world. He is working with Sam Leach, winner of the 2010 Archibald and Arts writer Ashley Crawford to produce the fifth iteration of ‘Notfair’, which will take place in Melbourne in November this year.
This is a brilliant initiative. These guys decided to create an art fair, which felt and looked like a Biennale. The point of difference being that their art fair would only support the work of under-represented artists who they felt deserved more recognition regardless of their career stage.
Always researching and experiencing Tony is off to Switzerland in August in search of some bigger and bolder mountains to paint.
He has two more shows this year, for one of which he is the curator.