Art is an antidote for Dean Raybould.
Raybould has worked his whole life as a graphic artist – creating art for other people.
That changed when he picked up a brush and started painting for himself.
The culmination of his training in graphic art and self-taught painting, Raybould’s first solo exhibition, Te Huia Knows Whe(a)re, will be held at Forrester Gallery from February 12.
Born in Taranaki, Raybould and his parents moved to Australia when he was 6 years old.
He grew up there, as his family traveled the country.
After graduating from high school, he began his commercial arts career in a graphic design studio before designing t-shirts.
After around 25 years in Australia, he returned to New Zealand with his partner, Linda Keig, and their first child.
Raybould spent 12 years as an advertising artist for the Nelson Mail. He started painting as an ”antidote” to being in front of a computer all day.
He loved the spontaneity of coming up with an idea and the resulting problem solving.
“I think part of the fun is making it up as you go, otherwise it looks a little too much like graphic art.”
Raybould often painted over works or cut them into small pieces – a fairly easy feat, as much of his work was done on wood.
Sick of the limitations imposed by the square frame, Raybould had taken to painting on wood cutouts and instruments.
Influenced by his background in graphic arts – something he was unsure he could ever leave behind – Raybould’s work was distinguished by patterns, typography and symmetry.
He was also politically and ecologically driven, exploring ideas about land use, housing, and society.
Having been a listener and musician in the punk rock scene, Raybould was also influenced by its protest values and elaborate album covers.
Although an artist in his own right, Raybould still considered himself more of an illustrator.
“The only difference is that you’re not working for someone else’s needs.
“I can do whatever I want, which is cool for me.”
As of November 2020, Raybould and Keig have been living in Oamaru with three of their four children – their eldest now living on the North Island. Raybould juggles between his painting and his freelance graphic work.