A high-flying career

• Ian de Souza with CircusWA performers Ben Kotovski-Steele, and Bellina Sörensson. Photo by Steve Grant.

LIFE as an artist has come full circle for Fremantle artist Ian de Souza.

“I had my first art lesson at 15 in Singapore and I’m going back there next year for my first major exhibition, aged 80,” he says.

De Souza had been looking for a suitable gallery for his Singaporean exhibition for some time, when he bumped into an old mate he’d been at Perth Technical College with in 1960.

“His brother-in-law has a major gallery in Singapore,” de Souza says.

“They are flying out to WA next week to film me at work.”

“At work” will be under the big top on Princess May Park in Fremantle, where de Souza will join forces with CircusWA for his Celebrating Circus exhibition.

On each Sunday of the 10-day exhibition, held in the adjacent DADAA building, there’s a chance for artists and the public to take part in a mini-version of Drawn Together, de Souza’s big 2010 Fremantle Festival hit.

On Sunday November 11 the life drawing will be in DADAA’s main hall where artists can capture the antics of performers.

The following Sunday, aerialists will soar overhead as the art sessions move into the big tent.

De Souza’s fascination with the big top started more than 10 years ago when he had a studio at the circus school’s former home, in Phillimore Street.

Admiring performers’ discipline, a fascination with the craft morphed into a deep respect, and de Souzo set about capturing them in ink on rice paper.

Art and entertainment groups in Fremantle have become an endangered breed, and the $20 registration for the life drawing sessions, and part proceeds from de Souza’s art, will go towards CircusWA.

To register for Drawn Together call de Souza on 0438 911 346.

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