'Diaspora' 1992 oilstick, gouache, synthetic polymer paint Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa | 
'Izkliede' 1994  gouache, synthetic polymer paint From the Gene and Brian Sherman Collection | 
'Farewell to reason' 1996  oil and oil stick, synthetic polymer paint on prepared canvas boards Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

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The canvasboard and the Book of Power

Imants Tillers: one world many visions is an exhibition of work by one of Australia’s foremost artists that conveys a vast web of interconnections of images and ideas. Born in 1950 in Sydney to Latvian parents, Tillers currently lives in Cooma in the Monaro region of New South Wales. In the 1980s he developed a remarkable way of working known as the Book of Power or the Canvas board System. This system came out of the experimental decade of the 1970s when artists were looking at alternative, inventive ways of working. The Canvas board System, which involves painting directly onto small canvas boards, has allowed Tillers to create large paintings, panel by panel, at a desk in his studio space.

Tillers has continued to work on canvas boards from the early 1980s to the present and these works are the focus of the current exhibition. The artist has numbered each of the boards on the back starting from number one and continuing through to nearly 80 000 boards at the time of this exhibition. In these paintings Tillers has transformed references from many visual art sources. The choices he makes reveal a personal dimension relating to his own experiences and his continuing interest in identity and cross-cultural issues in our one world comprising many, diverse visions.

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