‘Through my work I strive to invoke reflection on the aesthetics of overindulgence, opulence and decadence in our natural world… even in decaying life and creepy-crawly insects, beauty can be found.’
Building a career from my art was always the plan – but life got busy as time slipped away. In 2001 the course of my life changed in an instant – reminding me there won’t always be a tomorrow, so every today has to matter.
I was working with problem horses as a specialist trainer using natural horsemanship methods, when riding along a rural road, two dogs appeared and attacked the horse. Becoming a ball of energy, the horse expanded itself, managing to break the girth and causing me to hit the ground hard – still sitting in the saddle. My fingers had become twisted in the reins as I instinctively held on, trying to keep contact with the horse. After losing sight of the horse bolting home I looked down at my hands to see dislocated and broken fingers.
By the time I limped home carrying my saddle, and after tending to the horse, I arrived at the nearest hospital three hours later. An x-ray revealed multiple broken fingers – one of the bones on my drawing hand had diagonally split and was almost shattered. Nursing my mangled hands I listened as the emergency doctor assumed I didn’t use my hands for any particular skill and suggesting to just patch me up. Taking a moment to comprehend his words I replied “I do actually.” That was the moment I knew I had to take my art seriously – before it was taken away from me.
After finding the best hand surgeon available, a long rehabilitation process began.
Sealing his fate at the age of 10, Patrick Christie dipped a nibbed pen into an inkwell for the very first time. Wanderlust determined the years that followed would fill with travel and life experience – all the while refining his craft – evolving into his now instantly recognisable style. Breathing new life into a centuries old tradition of ink on paper Christie adds thinly veiled quirks, an edge of humour and a splash of colour – giving the genre a contemporary twist.
His dedication to strive for precision and exquisite detail is astonishing. Remarkably all drawn without copying from an arrangement – the artwork flows through the pen to the paper directly from Christie’s imagination. ‘Once I get into “flow” my sense of time and my surroundings slip away. It’s like an external force has control of my hand’ says Christie.
On closer inspection more details emerge from a piece that can take 200 or more hours to complete. Patrons enjoy searching for one of Christie’s visual signature touches: at least one insect forms part of the composition in all his drawings; often there’s many – laying down a challenge to discover them all.