Australian artist Jeffrey Smart (b. 1921) was on Talking Heads last night on ABC1.
Linked to ABC1: Talking Heads
PETER THOMPSON: You say in your book that you thought that you were the only homosexual in Australia.
JEFFREY SMART: I was the only one, yes. And then there was a wonderful book put out by Kenneth Walker, who was an English psychiatrist. And I found out that so many of the famous composers were poofters! And I found out how many of the artists were poofs. And writers. You see, I thought, “This is amazing!”
PETER THOMPSON: And this was a comfort for you, no doubt?
JEFFREY SMART: Great comfort, yes, yes.
I like his work.
I even remember this, having been an Argonaut myself (Leda 37) in the 1950s:
In 1951, I got back to Adelaide, where I saw advertised the Commonwealth Art Prize. And I won the prize. It was amazing. It was £500. Shortly after that, I then got my job, at the ABC on the wireless, on the Children’s Hour. And it was called The Argonauts Club. And I called myself Phidias. Then, in 1956, came the blessing of television.
PETER THOMPSON: When you became an Argonaut, on radio firstly and then on television.
JEFFREY SMART: Yes.
PETER THOMPSON: As part of this, you ran a segment called Art Gallery Of The Air.
JEFFREY SMART: It had been called that to begin with, before I turned up. Now, the creepy thing was, one night I met a woman called Clare, who said, “Oh yes,” she said, “you’re going to run, one day, a thing called The Art Gallery Of The Air.” She said, “How could that be?” Well, I said, “That’s ridiculous, because you can’t have an art gallery, there’s no walls. The art gallery has no walls.” Years later, it was about four years, five years later, I ran The Art Gallery Of The Air. It was true, that was its name. How did she pick that up? All these people who can foretell the future, or get feelings, there’s a lot that needs to be explained.