ARTIST’S CV & BIBLIOGRAPHY - VICTOR CUSACK

Born Manly, Sydney, NSW, Australia, and now resident on the Tweed Coast (near the Queensland border) where he paints in his studio mostly 5 to 6 hours/day.

Perhaps today better known now in Sydney as a sculptor than a painter (because of the numerous large public sculpture commissions), his art career was full time active during three distinct periods of his life where he functioned as a professional artist (with other successful careers between those periods).

FIRST PERIOD - 1956 to 1963, involved painting landscape, seascape and portraits, with sculpture being a minor interest at this stage. As a youth he studied painting for two years under Sir Erik Langker with lesser periods involving Robert Johnston, William Dargie, Douglas Pratt, James R Jackson and other Royal Art Society painters. Exhibited multiple paintings regularly with Royal Art Society (their youngest ever appointed ‘exhibiting member’ at that time), Australian Art Society, North Shore Art Society, etc. One-man shows at this young age included Brickfield Hill Gallery 1959, Tamworth Festival of Light 1960, Watson's Bay Gallery 1959 and 1960 and Lindeman Island 1959, extensively exhibiting with art societies, NSW art galleries and in many multiple exhibitions throughout Australia, including representations in various regional and private gallery collections. Exhibited frequently at many major Sydney galleries during that period in mixed shows with a much older generation of painters (eg: Dobell, Drysdale, Lindsay, Blackman, Herman, Dargie, Jackson, Rapotec, etc, many of whom he got to know), concurrently exhibiting and selling extensively with regional exhibitions throughout Australia (and achieved representation in some regional galleries). Art then became a passionate hobby subservient to a very successful engineering career.

One-man shows at this young age included Brickfield Hill Gallery 1959, Tamworth Festival of Light 1960, Watson's Bay Gallery 1959 and 1960 and Lindeman Island 1959, extensively exhibiting with art societies, NSW art galleries and in many multiple exhibitions throughout Australia, including representations in various regional and private gallery collections.

SECOND PERIOD - 1983 to 1993, involving many privately commissioned paintings (portraits, nature paintings and nudes) but mostly Government commissions for public sculpture. In addition to private commissions, the artist has been awarded 16 public sculpture commissions, mostly located in Sydney, two in UK as sister city gifts (Portsmouth and Edinburgh), and has work located in various regional towns in NSW. Larger sculpture commissions varied between $30,000 and $540,000, usually taking from 6 months to 2.5 years to complete. Public painting commissions included seascapes, nature paintings and an America’s Cup yachting drama on Sydney Harbour (used as a challenge fund raiser), the illustrations and cover for a book written by Australia’s deputy Prime Minister (Jim Cairns) and the lyre bird symbol for Baulkham Hills Council.

After studying sculpture technique with Peter Sedcole (NZ) in 1983/84, the increasing size and frequency of the sculpture commissions led him to develop his own bronze foundry (Fineart Bronzefoundry Pty Ltd -1985 to 1993), initially to cast his own sculpture commissions, but later expanded to cast works for other sculptors, architects and government. After studying bronze conservation, restoration and bell casting, the foundry also became the world’s seventh bell foundry capable of casting and tuning carillon bells and employed up to thirteen sculptor/artisans working full time on art casting, conservation and restoration of bronze sculpture and the casting and tuning of bells. Victor dismantled and sold the art foundry in 1993 in order to redirect his energy away from the management and sales responsibilities (only half the casting and turnover came from his commissions).

Quoting from art critic and educator Michael Hedger's book “PUBLIC SCULPTURE IN AUSTRALIA” (1995), "Australia's most recent major fountain ranks as its most unique."...etc..."The fountain is of cast bronze (cast by Cusack at his Sydney foundry), stainless steel and plate glass, and the scale and the extraordinary combinations provide a work of surprising harmony. Cusack's environmental sentiments are readily apparent and the local Council's initiative in commissioning such a work is visionary."

To view individual sculptures click on the ‘Public Sculpture’ section in the menu.

THIRD PERIOD 2003 to the present day, involves a recent return in 2003 to full time painting, drawing and sculpting. His work is now far more philosophical, on a much larger scale, and seems to attract enthusiastic approval from viewers of all ages.

Drawing very much on nature, rainforest, the sea and human figures, he is exploring the ‘human condition’; our evolution and inextricable connection to the continuum of all organic matter, the inevitable leveller of degrading into elements and minerals that become recreated as life forms. In effect, man’s struggle to live with and rationalise his impact and belief systems on our planet Earth and the inevitability of also destroying ourselves if we destroy nature.

This third period of his professional art career is redeveloping his now more mature painting skills and thoughts, and drives him to work with great enjoyment in his studio 5 to 6 hours every day. Victor tends to be somewhat media shy about his painting, partly to avoid commercial pressure. Whilst he has recently sold works by accidental direct approach, he has deliberately avoided the commercial pressure of exhibiting or selling his recent work and has accumulated a sizable new collection to include in his first web site. This website is a step towards reinvestigating the best gallery/agent/web site arrangement to simplify selling and leave him free to paint.

His focus is now on painting and drawing, but increasingly with smaller more intimate sculpture, some experimenting with new media such as water clear cast acrylic. He has no further interest in producing large public sculpture as in the past, partly because advancing age makes heavy physical work less attractive but also because he is so excited about his paintings and their message, and with the quick elegant intimacy of the small sculptures he is producing.

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