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Self-taught Australian artist David Rellim was born in Melbourne in 1986, the youngest of four children. Early personal challenges paved the way for Rellim’s deeply emotional journey through life and his art. His passion for art was ignited at the age of 16 when he first opened a book about Brett Whiteley. Rellim counts his major influences as Brett Whiteley, Van Gogh, Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Robert Prudhoe or (Boinga Bob) with whom Rellim lived for 6 months in his world famous tree-house temple.
“I have also learnt a lot through living with Ben Howe in an artist's warehouse in Brunswick and from Sally Madden, David Milne, Steve Nova, Robin Stewart and other artists located at Swan Street studios where I paint these days. Just being in a creative environment is highly inspiring,” says Rellim.
Primarily working in oils, Rellim has consistently moved towards expanding his craft to embrace other mediums in his endeavor to merge both traditional and contemporary techniques. Laden with emotive and evocative self-expression, Rellim’s works intertwine lively threads of light and darkness to articulate the balance of existence.
The artist’s work is underscored with his fundamental psychological insights garnered from deeply personal experiences along with an avid interest in the mechanisms of human psychology.
Rellim’s works resonate with a blend of semi-abstraction, surrealism and symbolism. The artist’s paintings are inspired by an autobiographical narrative that becomes a commentary across the gamut of human emotion along with a personal judgment on social structure and environmental awareness.
The artist’s background of personal challenges became an artistically and dynamic driving force in his life, inspiring and exposing the raw, emotive substance of human frailties of fear, hope, aspiration and ultimately, artistic expression.
Rellim says, “My process of painting always begins with an idea either inspired by my own emotions or observations of the world around me. I then apply the idea onto canvas in a very calculated and technical manner.
"In 2008 Rellim was featured in The Big Issue ‘Beyond Three Trees’. 2011 saw his painting ‘Husk’ used for a poster by the band “Twist”. In 2012 The Jed Rowe Band used his painting ‘Wandering Nomad’ for their CD album. In the same year, Rellim won the Highly Commended Emerging Artist Award, Maritime Art Competition. Rellim’s works have been widely exhibited both nationally and on the world art stage including: Japan, Paris, Melbourne Convention Centre, Parliament House, Crown Casino, World Trade Centre (Melbourne), Fad Gallery, Brunswick Street Gallery, Cube Gallery, Arts on Burgundy, Old Fire Station Gallery, The Pigeonhole, Benalla Performing Arts Convention Centre, Theatreworks as well as several Australia-wide touring exhibitions with the Cunningham Dax collection. Rellim has also been involved with the Dreaming Awake, Pigeonhole and Swan Street studio collectives.
“Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” - Ralph Blum