documentary films on the creative arts

Tony Irving

Tony Irving
Peter M Lamont
Peter M Lamont


I feel a bit like I’m in the presence of a living legend and it’s kind of spooky seeing these old volumes and hearing stories about the beginnings of post-war Australian contemporary art. Tony Irving creates vivid and objective representations of the urban landscape. While his paintings are filled with life, they also display the slow decay through neglect or just simply old age. They pose questions to the viewer; what on earth are those people doing with all that string? What went on in the rooms of that Twin Peaks style motel just a stone’s throw from the famous ‘Open Country’ home that spawned greats like Arthur Boyd and John Perceval.

There is an exactness about Irving’s work; he speaks of developing a science of colour arrangement on the pallet, the way his brushes are lined up like the Queens Guard and this sense of order is apparent in his work. Things don’t appear without a reason and while they often represent urban decay, there is no chaos in his work. Just an almost eerie a sense of calm – Perhaps a nod to the inevitability of time.