Eris Fleming, Hillside Paddock
Eris Fleming: Hillside Paddock
Eris Fleming grew up in country New South Wales in the 1950s but due to family circumstances, he was forced to hide his love of art and painting.1 In an interview with the ABC, Eris commented that requests to study in Sydney or even go to an art gallery were steadfastly refused. "After I was told I couldn't go there because I might see a naked painting. I didn't tell anyone I was interested in art for many, many years." 2
Fleming opted for studying medicine at University and suppressed his inclinations to paint. Following his graduation, Eris went onto his first medical residence in Albury, NSW where he finally took up painting in what spare time he had. Things soon came to a head however and Eris faced a choice between continuing his medical career or becoming a full-time artist. It wasn't an easy decision since Fleming would be approaching the cultural sector without formal artistic qualifications like his contemporaries (something often called these days as 'being an outsider artist). 3 However, with a combination of luck, passion for art and the encouragement of his wife, Judy, Eris persisted. Fleming now operates a gallery in Wellington, a few kilometres outside Dubbo.4 His works of art, which depict outback and regional Australia, are exhibited nationally in Brisbane, Canberra and across most other major centres in Australia and internationally.5
The Work of Art.
Hillside paddock depicts a hilly landscape with the trunk of a solitary tree in the centre under a very dark oppressive sky. The tree seems stripped of life as if hit by a storm sometime past. The work is typical of one of his styles. A solitary object or building which becomes a focal point almost swamped by surrounding fields and a heavily laden sky. Hillside Paddock was painted in 1972 and was acquired shortly after. It represents not only an early example of Eris' works of art but an example of one of the early landscapes in the Art Collection.
It is interesting however that Eris chose another genre that contrasts and yet compliments with this style. This tends to focus on people and characters on the fringe of society. These paintings are often brighter being full of colour and vigour..
1 Kia Handley, 'Meet the Fridge artist: Eris Fleming' ABC Net, Accessed 2/4/2020,https://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2015/08/10/4290536.htm
4 Wellington Arts, ' Eris Fleming' Wellington Arts, accessed 2/08.2022,http://www.wellingtonarts.org.au/eris-flemming.html