Victor Sanderson, artist, Merseyside to Australia, 1940-98

Victor Sanderson, artist, born New Brighton, Wirral, Merseyside, England, died Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia.

I was vacuuming the house today, not a completely rare event, when guilt set in as the Dyson sucked carefully around two of Victor’s old pictures leaning against the wall by the piano.  A pointiliste of Tewantin at the riverside, and a careful and detailed pencil drawing of familiar figures at an early jazz convention in the setting of a picnic area at Mt Coot-Tha in Brisbane.  I should have framed them ages ago.  Both pictures are slightly battered as a result of their travels and neglect, but treasures nevertheless.  Victor was a fine artist.

Guilt has prompted me finally to start typing, without preparation, without research, and from my impoverished and moth-eaten memory.

The Dyson today provided the usual valuable purple-speckled fluff: enough for two sweaters.

Before writing, I Googled his name: sadly, and criminally, there is no match.  Many victor sandersons, of course, one an artist, but no mention of my dear friend, whose work, spread thinly around the globe, would stand with any Van Goch in any gallery.

I would write that Victor was a talented artist, but that implies other occupations, dilletantism: Victor was only an artist. He knew nothing more, and all his life he lived for his work, and by his work, and provided for his two families with the tools of his trade.

He excelled in all fields, two- and three-dimensional. Drawing in pencil, charcoal, conte, ink; painting in every medium imaginable, and sculpting in stone, plaster, concrete, cast iron, wood, and any substance that suited his current idea.  In Brisbane’s gardens and on verandas stand many sandstone sculptures that are treasured by their owners, and unmistakeable in their style.  Most were bought or commissioned at knock-down prices in order for Vic to pay the rent and buy food for the children: his art was his only sustenance.

To be continued. This is a preface to a properly-researched and detailed account of Victor’s life and work, and a pictorial record of every example of his art that can be found in Australia and Britain.  In this I hope to have the assistance and input of his daughter Sunny Sanderson, and his old friend Dr. Peter Freeman.  Sunny may also have her doctorate by now, and may be Sanderson no longer:  all will be checked.

This gets me started.  All input, both good and bad and hilarious, will be welcomed:  ………don’t forget the’l’.


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