1. Spirit of Morwell, 1990, Acrylic on MDF, Two panels 183 x 240 cm each, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, commissioned by the City of Morwell, 1990.
2. Night Hill I, 1987, Synthetic polymer paint on paper, 19 x 17 cm, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, purchased 1988.
3. Night Hill II, 1987, Synthetic polymer paint on paper, 19 x 17 cm, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, purchased 1988.
William Young undertook Fine Art and Education studies in South Australia between 1970 and 1976. He became known in Gippsland in the 1980s as a neo-expressionist painter, often utilising primary colours such as Cadmium Yellow and Cerulean Blue, which would be built up in rich layers upon a ground of deep black or brown.
In Spirit of Morwell, the primary colours over-saturate the landscape, separating the land and the sky. The vivid colours and sweeping, smudging brushstrokes create a heightened reality and imaginative impression of the landscape, evoking both memory and the presence of place. Each panel forms a panoramic view of the horizon with markers of industry – chimneys, factories, clouds of smoke.
This work of Young’s ties into the vision of 50 Years, 50 Artists as an exhibition celebrating the past whilst also looking towards the future of art in Gippsland. The open book at the centre of the work contains painted snapshots of Morwell scenes, a reflection and celebration of the identity of the place. Two clouds on both panels – vanish towards the centre of the horizon as if travelling through with a view to what lies ahead.
Throughout his career, Young has taught art at Secondary and Tertiary levels in South Australia and Victoria. His work is shown widely in Victorian public and commercial galleries. Young’s work is held in the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Latrobe Regional Gallery and Gippsland Art Gallery.