Neville Pilven

Territorial, 2009. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 76x76 cm.

  Two Hills, 2009. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 76x76 cm.
Image reproduced courtesy of the artist.

During the warmer months Melbourne artist, Neville Pilven, spends a lot of time painting at his cottage on the fringe of the Wimmera in Western Central Victoria. His cottage-studio is located in a quiet rural area once mined for gold. Pilven’s semi-realist landscape paintings border on the poetic, with historic folk references employed as pictorial iconography; an old tank, a remnant of a fence, or a dam. His sombre palette and a sense of emotional connection to the landscape, veil a deeper questioning upon the forces that shape nature and our place as people in the landscape—a theme that resonates with the landscape paintings of Russell Drysdale.

Born in 1939, Pilven studied at the National Gallery Art School and the George Bell School (drawing).  In the mid-1960s, Pilven left Australia for several years of European travel, study and painting, to England, Spain and Hydra Island, Greece. In 1972, he studied printmaking at Morley College, London, before returning to Australia in 1973, to settle in Melbourne. He was a finalist in the John McCaughey Invitation Art Prize, 1979, National Gallery of Victoria. Neville has held twenty solo exhibitions, many with leading Melbourne galleries. He has undertaken commissions for Myer, Telstra Australia and National Panasonic. His work is in collections including Artbank, Latrobe University, Ansett, Westpac, National Bank, Telstra Australia, Ridley, Potter Warburg and private collections in UK, USA, Australia and Japan.