John Lawry

Artists Statement 

As a life long believer in the world around us that is unseen or simply ignored by us I’ve always seen my art as a way of manifesting the unseen. Sometimes that’s memories, or feelings, but it can also be views of worlds that could or should be. One of the exhibitions I had was called “windows to dream worlds” and like much of my work it was views into the worlds of the spirits and elementals. I always felt when I am painting or drawing I am simply cleaning a window to the scene that exists beyond. 

  • While I have a fascination with all religions as they all have little glimpses to the occult (hidden) world, animism and paganism are the things that most resonate with me. I have sat looking through my window in a house I had in Tecoma (Dandenong ranges outside Melbourne) and watched the tree spirits separate themselves from the aura around the trees and flit along the creek at the back of my house. That proved to me that elementals are real, and by extension that all living things and the earth itself has a spirit. 
  • All life is the same, there is no such thing as some being greater or having more worth than others. Plants have spirit, they have worth. Animals have spirit, they have worth. We as humans are simply another species of animal. We are no more worthy than any other living thing. Likewise, all people have the same worth, some choose to do good things and some choose bad but that doesn’t change their inherent worth anymore than their gender or race does. If all are worthy then I believe that all are entitled to the same support and protection from society as a whole. I believe the only political system which even tries to provide that protection is socialism. It is not perfect and in many respects I love the anarchy I found in java under the Suharto regime but I realised while that may be good for me as a privileged person it provided little support for those without my privileges. Many who say they are opposed to socialism are still happy to travel on state sponsored public transport, collect pensions and other state benefits, go to free doctors and hospitals etc, all things brought to us by socialist ideals. 
  • I created the character Shine of the Moon and her universe as a way to communicate some of my beliefs and philosophies through an entertaining medium. Shine herself represents the archetype of Kali/Mother Nature. She is not necessarily nice and tends to be grumpy but still will always try to save everyone regardless of her own safety. I chose a female to represent this as I was trying to counterbalance the patriarchal ‘heroes’ of the past and I wanted to show a vulnerability in the character that was more poignant in a female character. She is not gifted or ‘super’ and yet she will go up against the gods themselves. 

John Lawry, Melbourne, Australia, 17th August, 2020