Stuart Payne was born in Singapore in 1972, and grew up in Grafton, Northern NSW, after his parents returned to Australia and started a second-hand furniture business. Stuart was always interested in creative things like painting, drawing and wood-work before taking to art study in his senior years of high school. Stuart went on to study at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts, Visual Arts, majoring in Motion picture art and sculpture.
Since then Stuart has worked in the film and television industry for over 23 years, working in Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand on various major Hollywood productions. He has worked for the Props, Plaster or Special Effects departments where his main role is leading hand, mould maker,. Over the years Stuart has acquired a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills with numerous materials and techniques like wood-work, metal-work, leather-work, mould-making and spray-painting.
Stuart’s art career re-emerged in 2010 when he was commissioned by the Clarence Valley Council to produce a large public sculpture for a riverside park in Maclean, NSW. The “Productive Landscape” sculpture is over 4m tall and is made of stainless steel and sandstone. This success led to an Artist in Residency at the Grafton Regional Gallery and two later group exhibitions. In 2015 the gallery bought Stuart’s “Yellow Throated Honeyeater” mixed metal sculpture for their permanent collection. He has also taught mould-making to a TAFE Ceramics class, held numerous holiday workshops for kids and last year was invited to conduct life casting workshops at the National Gallery in Canberra to coincide with their Hype Real Exhibition.
While still working in the film industry, Stuart is currently studying to become a secondary school Visual Arts teacher through Southern Cross University.
This journey began with the green three-seater, art deco club lounge in the Chifley Home Museum. Stops along the way included early childhood memories of similar lounges, where connections were made between the size and shape of these old lounges and automotive design of the 1940s and 1950s. I have explored many interesting avenues of thought, taken a few detours and found some dead ends, but the vehicle that brought this exploration into focus was the FX Holden.
After WW2 Ben Chifley issued a challenge, to produce an Australian designed and manufactured car, and in 1948 he launched the first mass produced Australian made car, the FX Holden. From as early as 1953 with the running of the inaugural Redex Reliability Trials, rivalries began to form, and it wasn’t long before a uniquely Australian car culture was born. The Ford vs Holden owner’s rivalry is still celebrated annually at the Mount Panorama race circuit in Chifley’s home town of Bathurst. In recent times the exuberant fervour of this rivalry has started to wane with the closure of the last Australian vehicle manufacturer, Holden, in October 2017.
This artwork shows the spirit of Ben Chifley at home on his lounge lamenting the demise of Holden. The steel lounge is constructed using the same techniques and materials as vehicle manufacturers and has been allowed to rust in some places. This reflects that even the glory of once treasured things often fades away, gets neglected, or discarded and one day will all be gone. Like the club lounge, all that remains of the Australian automotive manufacturing industry is the memories and the museum pieces.
Artist. Stuart Payne.
Title. Journey’s End.
Material. Steel and polyurethane resin
Dimensions. 60cm x 45cm x 25cm