Rod Taylor

Rod Taylor AM is a retired Associate Professor of Flinders University and retired CEO and Director of Adelaide Central School of Art Incorporated, which he co-founded with his then wife, Heather Nicholson in 1982. He studied art in SA at the South Australian School of Art and in London at St. Martins School of Art. In 2008 he was awarded a fellowship of the Council of University Art & Design Schools (ACUADS) and in 2010, he received the award of Member of the Order of Australia (AM). He has worked in both private and public collections.

‘I’m very aware that my work almost always suggests narratives of some kind. However, I have no idea what the narratives are, and I never start a new work with a narrative, political, social, theoretical, or philosophical idea in mind. And, probably for that reason, I always title my works after they are finished. Sometimes, later, I might see how it has connected with my life.

My process is that I simply start with something – a pose, image, shape, colour, compositional idea – that interests me, and I let it develop from there. Sometimes it develops into something that is pictorially promising, and sometimes it doesn’t and I abandon the idea and start something else. Through formal means only – I try to avoid conscious symbolism – I work for a feeling of stillness and order and perhaps a sense of otherness, that could be described as aesthetic resolution, and perhaps the communication of some kind of spiritual and / or, emotional state. When that seems to be achieved and I can’t see anything to add or change, I stop. It does sometimes puzzle me and probably others, that given that I do not start with anything in mind, how do I know when to stop and call a work finished? It is mysterious, but quite common, I think.’