I drew my first footballer way back in my teen years.
It was of one of my younger brothers playing a game on his own in the backyard.
Our back yard was a few blocks from Windy Hill. My brother commentated as he kicked, and he roared as though there was a crowd of 99,000. Of, course there was not. Not even at Windy Hill, was there ever a crowd of 99,000.
There was only me, with pen and paper in hand. I was keen to see if I could draw a moving figure. And so I tried.
Since then I have explored footy as a subject through my art and through my painting.
These paintings form part of a collection of work that I have done since the start of the 2016 finals. It is the first time I have used a grand final as a theme to inspire my work. The Doggies win against the Swans was an uplifting experience for all; not just mad keen footy fans, but for those too, who claim proudly to 'know nothing about footy'.
From the depths of despair at having such a long span between the glory of only one ever premiership cup, the anticipation of having reached finals and the unlikely chance of charging up through the final series to make it to the big day, was...well, such an unlikely story.
Being a tiger fan, I was able to take it in, unencumbered, from the periphery, going into to the city on the night of the Hawthorn final to sketch the grandiose stream of people walking to the G, anticipating all the possibilities of the Sydney/GWS trek, absorbing the atmosphere of the red, blue and white Scray landscape in the days before the granny, to the finality and joy of the big day.
These paintings focus on the footy family, any family, any nationality, any age, any gender, the concern and the weight of possibilities as they charge forth to the final game of the season.
My families are portrayed at the station, waiting and wondering and hoping the win will be theirs only.
And with this long awaited premiership victory, there came the drenching sense of joy. To me the intensity of those feelings is perhaps, at a contained peak upon the drive home for those who attend any such sporting game and for those supporters in the days, weeks…...and sometimes months, afterwards.
The statement made by hanging ones' team scarf out the car window, is the one simple gesture that epitomises a sporting celebration and for the Western Bulldog fans, the grand celebration that was the 2016 season.