I arrived in Australia in 1977, the Qantas plane door opened. I was hooked with the cerulean sky and the crackling heat. The intense light gave everything a new clarity, these observations I wanted to paint.
My first paintings were suburban studies; people at bus stops, gardeners watering their lawns and bowlers, at play, on the bowling greens. I wanted to express the apparent quiet and safety of Australian suburbs.
In my travels of Australia I was drawn to landscapes that have been touched by human intervention. The farm buildings, the sheds and their yards, all inspire me to create work that is Australian. The trees around these properties are often non indigenous which refer to our European roots. This holds a certain fascination for me because it is all part of conquering and controlling the environment.
The way I do this is to use a realistic style that expresses a high degree of clarity and detail. I use strong and high contrasting colours that exaggerate the effect of light and emphasis the form.
—Keith Cowlam, 2009
2010 Jackman Gallery, St Kilda
2009 Jackman Gallery, St Kilda
2008 Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide
2004 Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide
1990 Bridge Street Gallery, Sydney
1988 Bridge Street Gallery, Sydney
1986 Greenhill Galleries, Perth
1985 Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide
1984 Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
1983 Australia Galleries, Melbourne
1983 Greenhill Galleries, Perth
1983 Studio 20 Print Gallery, Adelaide
1982 Bonython Gallery, Adelaide
2008 Finalist Fleurieu Biennale Art Prize
2008 Finalist Fleurieu Peninsula Vista Art Prize
2006 Finalist Fleurieu Biennale Art Prize
1989 Victor Harbor Council Award
1989 Finalist Wynne Prize
1988 Clare Valley Watercolour Prize
1988 Elizabeth City Art Prize
1988 Victor Harbor Art Prize
1983 Fremantle Print Award
1983 Stirling Festival Print Award
1982 Whyalla Arts Council Prize
1980 West Lakes Art Prize
1980 Victor Harbor Art Prize
1980 Ethel Barringer Memorial Prize
1979 Pelican Prize
Art Gallery South Australia
Maitland Gallery NSW
Fremantle Arts Centre
Whyalla Arts Council
Art Bank Collection
Private and Corporate Collections in UK, USA and Japan including:
Coopers & Lybrand, IBM, Mayne Nickless, Shell Oil, Industrial Equity Ayers Finniss, United Airlines Melbourne Airport, Adelaide International Airport and Hardy’s Wines.