Australian Art


AKA: Mal Cannon
  • Abstract
  • Figurative
  • Painter

Mal Cannon

Born in Sydney 1945, into a traditional working class family. Mal grew up in the inner city suburbs, but left home at 15 looking for a kind of freedom that city life couldn’t offer. He spent his early life exploring the country; a vagrant existence doing any work that was available, including fruit picking, labouring, seasonal farmwork and laying railroad tracks in Queensland.
Life on the road, provided a wealth of insights and a store of life experiences which Mal still draws on in his work. The greater physical freedom he experienced at this time, allowed him to explore ideas about personal freedom and how this could be expressed creatively. In his early twenties, he studied Eastern philosophies which has continued as a lifelong interest.
This led to painting as a means of expressing what he had gained from these inquiries. 1984-87 Mal studied at the Julian Ashton School while continuing fulltime work.
In early 2000 Mal left work to concentrate on painting. He made a conscious decision not to exhibit for the first couple of years, until he was satisfied that his work could communicate something of his early vision and understanding.
Mal believes that the best foundation for abstraction is a sound understanding of form, through disciplined observation and drawing. The work of painters such as Diebernkorn, Ian Fairweather, Tapies and John Firth-Smith, seems to express what he wants to share with the viewer….the silence and stillness that lies behind form.
His paintings aim to bring the viewer back to this eternal aspect of their identity, a dialogue common to all people. Mal believes all good painting does this by bringing one back to the self. Mal believes that abstraction in painting has unlimited potential for individual painters. It is not dependent on current fashion in painting, but always points to something far larger than itself. Painting for him affirms something already sensed at some level, and is able to hold this more firmly in place.

Since 2003 Mal has exhibited at Brian Moore Gallery in Paddington in February 2003,
Von Bertouch Gallery in Newcastle in November 2003 and Tighes Hill Gallery in November 2003 and March 2004 and SAUC Gallery in June and September 2004.


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