Walking man’s art goes on show

A new exhibition featuring the stunning artwork of Nedlands’ ‘walking man’ Ross Seaton will open in Fremantle next month.

For many West Australians, Mr Seaton – who died in May aged 76 – was known as the ‘walking man’, renowned for his long walks along Stirling Highway to the ocean with his wheelbarrow.

Ross Seaton, Abstract Face, c 1990, oil on cardboard, courtesy the Estate of the Artist.Camera IconRoss Seaton, Abstract Face, c 1990, oil on cardboard, courtesy the Estate of the Artist. Credit: Lyle Branson

But many people didn’t know that Mr Seaton created extraordinary paintings and drawings in his front garden in Nedlands over the past 30 years.

Ross Seaton pushing his wheelbarrow.Camera IconRoss Seaton pushing his wheelbarrow. Credit: Fiona Cargill.

The artworks documented his complex view of the world.

Ross Seaton, Untitled, 2017-2018, acrylic on plastic, 400 x 1000 cm, courtesy the Estate of the Artist.Camera IconRoss Seaton, Untitled, 2017-2018, acrylic on plastic, 400 x 1000 cm, courtesy the Estate of the Artist. Credit: Lyle Branson

Now the work will be put on display at The Naval Store in Fremantle next month in the exhibition Ross Seaton: The Master of Nedlands.

The exhibition is part of the UWA Away series – presenting UWA’s arts and cultural programs at venues off campus – and will run from Saturday December 5 to 13, from 12 noon until 5pm daily.

Ross Seaton, Untitled landscape, c 1968, oil on board, courtesy the Estate of the Artist.Camera IconRoss Seaton, Untitled landscape, c 1968, oil on board, courtesy the Estate of the Artist. Credit: Lyle Branson

Ross Seaton: The Master of Nedlands curator Professor Ted Snell, who is also Director of Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, said Mr Seaton was an important part of Perth’s history.

“He was uncommunicative, yet mysterious and compelling, and his determined, focused and self-directed quest seemed so laudable in an increasingly controlled world,” Professor Snell said.

“He was his own man, a Don Quixote with his wheebarrow Rocinante, setting out each day to find meaning in the world.”

Photograph of Ross Seaton’s front yard in 2020.Camera IconPhotograph of Ross Seaton’s front yard in 2020. Credit: Brendan Hutchens.

The book Ross Seaton: Walking Man will also be published this year.

The first large-scale exhibition devoted to his work brings together a selection of Mr Seaton’s compelling works to document his unique world view.

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An online exhibition, accessible through the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery website, will complement The Naval Store exhibition.

Ross Seaton, Abstract 1, 1985, oil on canvas, courtesy the Estate of the Artist.Camera IconRoss Seaton, Abstract 1, 1985, oil on canvas, courtesy the Estate of the Artist. Credit: Lyle Branson

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