Art & Life by Philip Jones

By Philip Jones

This autobiography presents a desirable inspect Australia's Heide glossy artwork stream from a guy who performed an essential component in it. A bright photograph of Australia's bohemian panorama of the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties emerges and mythical figures within the Australian paintings scene, comparable to John and Sunday Reed, come to existence.

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When I tell people this story today they are amazed at the implied snobbishness that they believe existed in another century. I don’t believe this story denotes an upper-class attitude on my mother’s part. It may indicate a certain snobbishness in me in that I recall vividly a fairly trivial incident. My mother’s assumption was reasonable at that time and she would have accepted the accent had Bright (one might say by name but not by nature) shown any wit or warmth. He showed us over Roberts House, a Victorian pile where I was to board.

Have I repressed hatred? I suppose I excised him from my feelings. Now I feel he had a hard time from what became a matriarchal extended family. He was neurotic, no doubt about it, but I don’t think, essentially, a cold man. My mother could have handled him better. To this day I cannot comprehend their feelings for each other; whether there was love between them. In those days happiness in marriage was not regarded as essential. When I went as a boarder to Trinity Grammar School I found that the middle-class boys of Kew and Hawthorn had, socially, led more sheltered lives than I had.

My father was, quite literally, friendless. Not even Joe Lamaro next door was a friend. Quite why, I am not sure. He was a good conversationalist and liked to talk to people. Fortunately I did not inherit this curious inhibition, although I would not describe myself as gregarious. 22 June 2003 A letter arrives from Edmund in London enclosing photographs and copies of letters from my mother to his. I had asked him for records since I had lost memorabilia in a house fire and at Heide. We had just arrived in London (1953) and my aunt Jenny had written to say that four people had commented that my father was appallingly rude to me.

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