The attributes of these engaging images are the rich palette, robust forms and textured paintwork that animate his vision. As a vegetarian and passionate horticulturalist this is Stephen Trebilcock’s milieu; painting and life are closely intertwined. In a wider context, his paintings reflect a set of values and a way of life many desire today, a life perhaps of a bygone era which was more approachable and honest.
Trebilcock’s work does not focus on the vast panoramic scenery of the Australian landscape so often depicted by our painters: his world is more immediate and intimate. From childhood surrounded by orchards, it is the introduced European fruits, vegetables and flowers that capture Trebilcock’s attention. His images possess a Biblical abundance, whilst noting also the imperfections or blemishes that reflect the reality of every day life.
Stephen Trebilcock was born in Montacute in the Adelaide Hills, and spent most of his childhood in the small community of Winkie on the River Murray. His works are strongly influenced by his early years living on a fruit block and his love of gardening.
Trebilcock is a self-taught painter. Before committing to a full-time career as an artist, he worked as a kitchen hand, fencing contractor and signwriter. The approach to painting that Stephen has taken is strongly based on his drawing skills, developed over years of careful observation and study.
Stephen’s first solo exhibition was held at Hill-Smith Fine Art in 1990, by whom he has been represented since. In 1993 he was awarded a travelling scholarship to Europe, where he completed a course of study at the Slade School of Art in London. Time spent in Venice also had a great impact on him, and the result of this travel is the classical and timeless appeal that. Stephen’s work possess.
Stephen continues to paint in his Adelaide Hills studio, working towards exhibitions as well as undertaking selected commissions. Since 1990 he has held numerous solo exhibitions around Australia and overseas.
2011 Finalist - Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize
Highly Commended - Waterhouse Art Prize
2009 Finalist - Mosman Art Prize
Winner - Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize
2008 Finalist - Fleurieu Biennale Food and Wine Art Prize
1994 Winner - Victor Harbor Open Acquisitive Award
1993 Winner - Thomas Laird Travelling Scholarship