Sedgwick’s life-changing accident sees a first exhibit in 25 years

IT took three broken ribs and a punctured lung for Ballarat artist Steve Sedgwick to finally follow his passion.

Sedgwick - who’s first solo exhibition in 25 years is on display at The Lost Ones Gallery in Camp Street – spent more than three months recovering after an accident playing Water Hockey left him with serious injuries and unable to continue his massage studio.

“I was self employed, but I had to stop working,” he said. 

“Painting full-time was always a burning ambition but the truth is I had no idea how on Earth do you do that? You could say it was a disastrous career move but it was a burning passion and I just had to go with it.

“The accident happened and I had to close my massage parlour and a lot of things that fell into place, I managed to pick up the last spot at The Lost One’s Gallery for this exhibition, so things just happened.”

Another lightning bolt of inspiration came when he visited Lake Mungo, north of Mildura.

“I’ve always been a surfer and been inspired by the landscapes around the ocean, but when I headed up to Lake Mungo at Easter last year with painters and sculptors it completely opened my eyes to the desert,” he said. “At first appearance you’ll probably only see a horizon line, but the more you look, the more colours you see, it really is amazing.”

“I lasted a week at the time and then I had to go back.”

Sedgwick said he was proud that he was able to work both outside where he works quickly, never more than one or two hours at a time on landscapes while his more abstract work was done at his Ballarat central studio.

“When you’re outside, you have a lot to deal with, including encounters with snakes. The challenge is to work quick and fast when you’ve got the light you want.

“At times I can be working on three paintings at once, but things always change. I often say the final product is one of about 20 layers. There are lots of accidents, but accidents can still be pretty good.”

The Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery is a contemporary art space housed in an 1870s Masonic temple in Camp Street.

It aims to profile artists from regional Victoria as well as from across Australia and internationally. 

It is open from Wednesday to Sunday with Steve Sedgwick’s exhibition on until August 5. For more go to thelostones.com.au