It’s on a sad note we bid Vernon Treweeke (born 1939) farewell on 19 March 2015. Known as the “father of Australian psychedelic art”, Vernon was a pioneering artist who came from The Blue Mountains to colour the streets of Nimbin, an important place in Australian human rights, activism and DIY culture.
Vernon had already had achieved success as an artist in Australian society in the 70s, but his disdain for the art world led him to drop out of society.
“I found out that people were buying my paintings—not necessarily because they liked them but because they were a tax deductible purchase—a case of capitalist corruption basically…. ….Why should wealthy people be able to avoid paying tax by buying art and why should art be treated like a charity? The whole thing disturbed me. It made artists fabulously rich but I decided I was done.”
He moved to Tuntable Falls community near Nimbin for a number of years before moving back to the Blue Mountains – but not before he had imparted Nimbin with a lasting legacy that street artists worldwide can take pride in.
It’s this DIY culture mentality that helps drive many artists, and this in turn is the type of mentality that helped breed electronic music culture in Australia.
Of particular note to Haarp Media and the Melbourne electronic music scene is that Vernon is succeeded by Julian Treweeke – aka Dysphemic – one of Vernon’s four children who have inherited Vernon’s creativity. Dysphemic is taking time out now, has moved back to the Blue Mountains and is working hard on his music with local Sydney producers like Zulu Flow Zion.
“We – well, I – might like to note that this is actually very touching news for me, as I too originally have Nimbin heritage and my father also lives on Tuntable Falls. I’d like to think that we attempt to carry on our father’s legacies in adhering to art for art’s sake and also remaining true to one’s calling.” – Vernon Treweeke
* – Quote and pictures from Electric Caves