IT ALL started on the dusty, arid plains of Kenya 30 years ago…
Aged 25, Allan Tinley was working as a film crew driver for Londolozi wildlife safari and started picking up his camera to take photos of lions, hippos and the odd elephant.
He had caught the photography bug and from then on was constantly taking snaps of animals, people and places around the world.
Born in Namibia, Tinley grew up in the wilds of Mozambique and South Africa before immigrating to Australia aged 16.
He studied printmaking at Edith Cowan University, went on to become a self-taught painter and poet, and for the past 20 years has lived in Fremantle.
Now aged 55 and settled in Hamilton Hill, Tinley expresses his creative side through photography, drawing and poetry, documenting Fremantle and its surroundings with particular fondness for South Beach and the parks around Manning and Bibra Lakes.
His latest exhibition of drawings and photography Mosaic of Nature and City, shows the yin and yang of Freo, exploring its people, port and parklands.
“A few artists who inspire me are Turner for his monumental landscapes and the journeys of mankind within them, Michelangelo and Picasso for their sculptural ethos,” Tinley says.
“I like my line work to be both functional in portrayal, as well as aesthetically beautiful as an abstract in themselves, that is musical lyricism of line work adept in portrayal,” Tinley says.
“Communication is of high interest to me and how we craft the physical to produce language as in a song of living and life to be shared.”
Life hasn’t been without its struggles with Tinley experiencing mental illness most of his adult life.
“I got a mental illness which stopped me from thinking clearly at 27 and have been steadily healing my mind through a lot of self help in self psychologising,” he says.
“My self growth since l became ill is basically inseparable from my artistic theorising which l use as a guide to my self knowledge.”
Along with philosophy and psychology, art has become part of Tinley’s therapy, helping him to navigate his way through life.
“My art is an inner exploration toward a more refined and
self-aware individual; toward the unique ‘I’ with all its facets becoming coalesced from an abstracted self to a fully realised self,” he says.
“It is my aim to participate in elements around me, to process them and share my viewpoint on them with others.”
With four solo exhibitions already under his belt at Perth Central Tafe, the Artists’ Emporium, DADAA, and Falduzi’s Restaurant in South Fremantle, Tinley is looking forward to his upcoming exhibition at the Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives, a housing cooperative and hub for artists in White Gum Valley.
“My aim has been to put myself through a mini self-styled university course towards self growth and knowledge in philosophy, psychology and art,” he says.
“I feel life is about sharing and communicating about ourselves. Our shared journeys with close reference to history.”
Mosaic of Nature and City is at the Colab2 Gallery at SHAC, on Nannine Avenue in White Gum Valley, from today (Saturday November 5) until Wednesday November 9.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK