Go into the blue at artist's solo debut
RAYMON Singleton is a "saltwater junkie” - a person who loves the ocean.
He calls the ocean his blue mistress and says saltwater fills his veins.
Singleton has brought this passion to a series of works for his first solo exhibition, aptly named Saltwater Junkie, opening this week at Childers Arts Space.
The works explore the power of the big blue, its sea life and its wild energy.
The love Singleton has for his blue mistress began as a child, growing up in the rich aquatic waters off Bargara.
For as long as he can remember, he played, swam, and fished in its depths.
Over time the chase for bigger waves, more fish, better experiences made way for a greater respect and led to a passion for the ocean's conservation.
"That's really my main aim with this exhibition - to help protect what we have here by educating people through my art,” Singleton said.
"A lot of people don't realise what we have here and the beauty of it all.”
Singleton said that in or on the water, he was always in a "blue state of mind” - a mildly meditative state characterised by peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness.
The influence of the blue mistress is evident in the energy and content of his paintings, bringing a freedom - and at times surrealistic style - to Singleton's kaleidoscopic and colourful works.
"My exhibition is based on aquatic themes like surfing, diving and fishing,” he said.
"I would say my style is surrealism.
"I paint an abstract type background with a real interpretation in the foreground.”
The self-taught artist said although he had been painting for many years, Saltwater Junkie would be his first solo exhibition.
"I love painting. I have always done it,” he said.
"It is something that has been a bit of an underground thing for most of my life.
"In the last 15 years I have stepped out of that arena and put my heart on show and, now, this is my first major exhibition.”
Saltwater Junkie will feature more than 20 vibrant paintings with the opening of the exhibition to be held at Childers Arts Space from 1pm on Saturday, December 16.