Beachside Primitive: An exhibition by Jeff Raglus

Beachside Primitive: An exhibition by Jeff Raglus

For over 30 years Surf Coast artist Jeff Raglus has been creating songs, images and artworks that have entertained and inspired thousands of people, from performing in a number of popular bands including Bachelors of Prague, The Feeling Groovies, Dubbledub and The Beachniks, to having his artwork has featured at exhibitions around Australia, in books and on Mambo T-shirts.

Now, Raglus is back with his latest collection destined for a new exhibition at Boom Gallery in Geelong this December.

However, this time the painter is straying away from his primary craft, and delving into sculpting, making it the primary focus of the exhibition, creating sculptures and paintings made from flotsam and jetsam.

“My dad was a builder and I’ve always kind of known how to use hammers, nails and wood and jigsaws so it was just a real logical step sideways from painting.

“It was actually Ren’s [Boom Gallery Director] idea,” Raglus reveals. “He’s seen wooden heads I’ve done in the past which were made out of driftwood and found wood. I’ve only ever done a few of them before and he said ‘hey it would be great if you did a whole show of just wooden stuff’ and I thought it was a great idea. I’ve often done other shows where there are all paintings and one wooden head. Now it’s all about the wooden heads.”

Using driftwood heads, strange relief settings, small paintings and sculptures, all works are done with a mid century primitive vibe using material predominately from the local area.

“I find it [the wood] on the beach, but a lot of the materials I’d actually found in junk yards and from friends; things like old smashed doors, any rusty screws and bolts,” Raglus explains. “It’s nearly all from Geelong and around Aireys Inlet.”

Wooden Eye-3

As pop art painter who regularly blurs the line between graphic and fine art, Raglus is excited to share his art with the public, which he has created in the short space of six weeks.

“I feel like my art is often kind of fun, I think I’ve always been fairly successful because of that; people get a good feeling from my art, it’s not very doom and gloom,” he explains. “It’s uplifting with a 1960’s beach vibe and I think people get that from my work.”

Exhibiting at Boom Gallery a number of times prior, the surf coast artist is ecstatic to be back at the gallery, especially coming into summer. “I think Boom is a great gallery,” he smiles. “I think it’s the best gallery in Geelong. It’s been really good for town, I really like the way they do it, it’s in a good area, it’s in a good spot and it’s a beauty, I’m happy to be there.”

Pop down to 11 Rutland St, Newtown for the opening on Saturday 9 December, 2pm–4pm. The exhibition will run until December 24.