02/11/2004 - 21:00

A challenging art odyssey

02/11/2004 - 21:00

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Such is the demand for John Challen’s landscape paintings that the artwork’s sale is usually negotiated before a colour is mixed or a brushstroke made.

A challenging art odyssey

Such is the demand for John Challen’s landscape paintings that the artwork’s sale is usually negotiated before a colour is mixed or a brushstroke made.

But considering some of those who have purchased his work, and with commissions as far ahead as 2006, he must be doing something right.

Buyers of Mr Challen’s works include Perron Property Group principal Stan Perron, Lester Group Limited executive chairman and CEO Dick Lester, Clough Limited chairman Jock Clough, Automotive Holdings Group chairman Vern Wheatley, and James Ch’ng, chairman of Far West Scallops.

With no formal training apart from a few months at the Claremont School of Art, Mr Challen set off seven years ago on an art odyssey around Australia, painting 56 commissioned works for the ‘Land of Light’ collection.

As part of the sales contract, buyers allow the works to be released for exhibition for a year.

Last week the Land of Light’ collection was on display in the Woodside Building as part of the West End Festival.

Mr Challen said his support from the business community provided a satisfying degree of endorsement for his work.

“I like dealing with businessmen, and have always tried to deal with the business community – they are honest, and when they get behind an idea, you know they really like it,” he said.

“They are putting a great trust in me by committing to a work before it is even begun, which sometimes puts a lot of pressure on me.

“I want to represent Australia in a realistic way and get people more educated about protecting our environment.

“Beauty should be kept and protected for its own sake.”

Mr Challen’s next challenge is to paint and capture world heritage sites, and he’s currently in Queensland working on his next collection. After Queensland he will travel to the US, Antarctica and China to paint world heritage sites in those locations.

His business partner, Fiona Rafferty, said that an eye surgeon from Melbourne last week flew over to Perth for a day specifically to see Mr Challen’s work, and made a deposit on $140,000 worth of paintings.

“The business community wants quality and will pay whatever it takes to get it. We haven’t even specifically targeted the business community, yet,”  Ms Rafferty said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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