There is one thing that all my art over 35 years has in common: The search for ‘self’. Thousands of images that search for a self – examine, seek, yearn, wonder, ponder. Where is this self, and who is it that seeks, if not that same self it looks for? Is the self comprised of a collection of ideas, can it be found within an external experience, can it have a name, does it have a permanence when everything is in constant change? Does the self exist in time, if so, what moves from experience to experience if each experience remains in the past the moment it arrives?
If the self is the one seeking, then why seek?
These are Zen questions, Buddhist questions, Advaita questions. Human questions.
Questions that ultimately cannot be answered with logic, but by that very quality, provide an answer that points beyond understanding. No doubt it might be possible to assign this description of self-seeker to all artists, maybe all humans. But it fits perfectly, from my first impressionistic painting of a house in a storm (representing turmoil and security)
to the pop-art cartoon crucified skeleton examining his insides and asking “is this all that I am?”
to a recent realist painting of myself and family standing in a field gazing up at a sky full of falling orbs of light around us - where we seem to ask – “who are we, why are we here?” Maybe a good next question might be – where is ‘here’?
Richard Baxter lives in Central Victoria on a beautiful hillside of granite, trees, and a lot of stars at night. There are rabbits, kangaroos and a tame wallaby, all of which eat the veggie garden that still needs a fence. Richard has been painting and exhibiting for 35 years (see exhibition history) and drawing since the age of 3. He is interested to see if he might become good at it one day, or if it is a life-long delusion.