From performing at London’s Wembley Arena with Wendy Matthews and Sean Kelly to playing for 20,000 people on Copacabana beach in Rio De Janeiro with GANGgajang, Geoffrey Stapleton’s work as a musician has afforded him the opportunity to travel and it’s travel and music that have informed his work as a painter.
Born in Adelaide in 1954, Geoffrey Stapleton attended Nailsworth Primary School and Enfield High School before moving to Melbourne in 1978 and then on to Sydney to pursue a career in music.
He began painting seriously in 1982 after Playboy magazine published a number of his cartoons. A great many CD covers, theatre posters and magazine illustrations were to follow. He has had seven successful solo exhibitions, including “Inside Alligator Man” at the “Mary Place Gallery”, in Paddington, Sydney where the Brazilian influence on his work was first shown.
As a musician/songwriter he has worked with many great artists including The Rockmelons, Wendy Matthews, Absent Friends, Sean Kelly, The Dukes, The Aliens, Gyan, Jimmy Little, Mark O’Connor, Richard Clapton, Maurice Jarre, Yahoo Serious, Reg Mombassa, JJ Peters, Pierre Baroni, Andifsowhy and Peter Blakely, to name (drop) just a few, though it is perhaps as a member of iconic Australian band GANGgajang that he is best known.
GANGgajang were further cemented into the Australian cultural landscape when their classic song “Sounds Of Then – This Is Australia” was included on the iPod recently presented to The American President by the Australian Prime Minister. (I assume there’s a patio at the White House?)
Having performed at such venues as London’s Wembley Arena, The Metropolitan in Rio De Janeiro, The Palatrussardi in Milan and at the Sydney Opera House, music has afforded him the opportunity to travel, and it's travel and music that have informed his work as a painter. He is still touring, performing and as ever, painting as he goes.
He has seen a great deal of Australia including the Western Desert where he had the privilege to paint with the indigenous people of Wallungurra (Kintore) from where the dot paintings originated. The “Desert” paintings in this series were inspired by the Australian landscape and some reflect the impact of European settlement.
GANGgajang’s astonishing success in South America has led to three national tours of Brazil including the 2001 tour with Yothu Yindi attracting crowds of up to 30,000 people on Copacabana beach in Rio. The hope is that the “Ocean” paintings in this series reflect a little of the colour and magic of those extraordinary tours.
On relocating to Adelaide from Sydney with his family at the start of the new millennium he began to think about opposites and balance and the ubiquity of the wave form. A decade later this would become the “Oceans and Deserts” series.
On 1st July 2011, Jude and Geoffrey Stapleton opened THE Geoffrey Stapleton GALLERY in Prospect, South Australia and the “Oceans and Deserts” series formed the first exhibition.