Mixing careers makes a new kind of alchemy

MARRIED artists Howard and Sally Worth will hold their first solo art exhibition next month, a reinvention of sorts for a pair who’ve racked up some serious credentials in their ‘other’ lives.

Howard was the long-term head of Curtin University’s film, television and screen arts department before moving to Notre Dame where he’s now an adjunct lecturer, but says the artistic bug has been with him throughout his life and he could often be found paintbrush in hand when his busy schedule allowed.

Nowadays he likes to think of himself as “primarily a professional artist” who dabbles in academia on the side.

“For me, it’s about re-establishing myself whereas for Sally it’s about re-emerging.”

Influenced at a young age by artists such as Marc Chagall and Paul Klee, Howard became particularly interested in the ability of oils and acrylics to emphasise textures and shades within a piece.

Sally says she was “somewhat inspired” to take up painting by her husband after retiring from her own stellar career, which started in the third-largest advertising agency in the world juggling the accounts of Cadbury, Heinz and Unilever and took her to Germany before she also settled into a long 30-year haul at Curtin’s business school.

Sally says she admires the colour and texture within her husband’s paintings.

 “You have to keep looking at it and finding something different in it,” she said.

Her own art concentrates on watercolours and displays a “fluid” style she describes as “abstract” and influenced by a “relaxed environment” of landscapes, leaves and flowers. 

While both have been part of group exhibits and have received commissions for their work in the past, it’s their first solo exhibition, and Howard says the vulnerability of putting his own art out for others to judge is “more daunting that a gallery representing me.

“People either love it or hate it,” he said.

“It’s nice when people like your work, terrifying when they don’t.” 


Cockburn Memorial Hall May 1-10

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