For those who don’t know, Region Riverina’s Chris Roe is a formidable news editor by day and an enigmatic artist by night.
The Riverina artist is celebrating a double win after being selected for the Bald Archys days before opening his first solo exhibition, Rogue Elements.
The pop-art collection features dozens of new works produced in the past six months.
Chris is looking forward to the opening on Friday (9 February) at Gallery43 inside TAFE NSW Wagga.
“It’s only really been in the last decade that I got back on the brushes and started painting regularly,” Chris says.
“Rogue Elements was an experiment to try to accelerate my art practice by painting every day.
“It didn’t matter how much or how little; it could be a mark on a canvas or a complete painting, but I resolved to have fun and not overthink it.”
Chris found that he could better clarify his style and artistic voice by establishing a habit and completed a series of around 40 small canvases.
Hosting his first solo exhibition is a boyhood dream come true.
“I’ve been drawing and painting since high school in the 90s and always played around in the pop art and expressionist genres,” he says.
“It’s exciting for me as an artist and storyteller to connect and share my journey with the next generation of creatives.”
Earlier this week, Chris was surprised to learn that one of his paintings was selected for the Bald Archy Prize, a tongue-in-cheek rival to the Archibald Prize.
His artwork, Fair Dinkum Rex, is a satirical portrait of Charles and his role as the King of Australia.
“It feels great to be part of the long-running national prize, but it also has a strong local connection, given that the Museum of the Riverina runs it,” Chris says.
“It’s exciting to be representing Wagga in that exhibition.
“I love the Bald Archys because it’s accessible, down to earth, and features people that you recognise. It’s a lot of fun.”
While Chris has submitted his artwork to various exhibitions, it was his first time entering the Bald Archys.
“I do enter things all over the place, and you never know what the judges are going to think,” Chris says.
“In this instance, it worked in my favour that it is chosen by a parrot and it seems that Maude the Cockatoo liked my work.”
The touring exhibition is currently showing in Canberra and will travel to the Riverina later this year.
When Chris isn’t publishing stories or painting, you’ll find him in his shed, making medieval swords and shields out of wood for his regular stall at the River and Wren Markets.
Rogue Elements will run from Friday, 9 February, until Friday, 8 March, at Gallery43, TAFE NSW, corner of Coleman and Macleay streets, Wagga Wagga.
All works are for sale. Check out CROE Workshop on Facebook for more information or to get in touch.