Ned on song for big reveal

Ned Middleton at the easel while art tutor Tobias Richardson looks on, ahead of The Big Reveal launch at Castlemaine's Lot 19 gallery this Saturday. Photo: Eve Lamb

Eve Lamb

Castlemaine’s Ned Middleton is getting used to being described as ‘inspirational’.

Living life with Down Syndrome has never stopped him from living life to the fullest – and with an added dash of creative flair.

Having already made his mark in the worlds of dance and community radio, Ned is now preparing to launch out into the world of art with his first solo exhibition opening at Castlemaine’s Lot 19 this Saturday, June 4.

The 30 or so portraits of famed rock and pop stars that feature in Ned’s The Big Reveal exhibition capture the emerging artist’s personal passion for music and the individuals who make it.

Ned’s artistic bent is also reflected in his film studies, and the creation of his suite of bright acrylic paintings follows 18 months of art tuition under the guidance of Castlemaine artist and tutor Tobias Richardson at his Lot 19 studio.

“It’s fun,” Ned says of his newfound arts practice, which has produced works that are particularly likely to appeal to fans of 70s, 80s and 90s rock and pop with many stars of those years featured.

Blondie, Elton John, Huey Lewis and The News, Culture Club, Billy Idol, Madonna and Pat Benatar are among the musos portrayed while Myley Cyrus and Daft Punk are some of the more contemporary artists who get a look-in.

One of Ned’s two large Daft Punk pieces have already been quickly snapped up by a well-known local entity.
“Ned’s very talented,” tutor Tobias says.

“He’s got a good attitude, very teachable, and his art skills have absolutely developed.

“His paintings are raw and immediate. It’s absolutely inspiring.”

The Big Reveal opening celebration happens this Saturday June 4 at Castlemaine’s Lot 19 gallery at 2pm with the exhibition then on show throughout June and the gallery open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm.