Having chased the dream of being a professional artist for as long as he can remember Gregory Carosi never thought it would be a move from city to country that would make it a reality.
But since moving to the Riverina in the space of six months he has already had his first solo exhibition and on Wednesday was in the motions of hanging his second in the Griffith Regional Art Gallery.
The irony of his regional success didn’t escape the previous full time high school English teacher, who uprooted his entire life in pursuit of an artistic career.
“Relocating gave me the time, and the opportunity, and the space and I have found that having moved from Sydney there are far more opportunities for art in regional areas,” he said.
“In terms of making the jump, maybe it was a time of life thing – at 37 if I am not going to do it now, then when?”
“These are all the things we put off.”
But the gamble he took was worth it in the moment he opened his first solo exhibition, a feeling he said was “ethereal” despite the vulnerability of exposing yourself on such a public platform.
“It was fantastic,” he said.
“Sure you are exposed, because everyone has an opinion.
“But a strong opinion is always better than a shrug.”
Mr Carosi’s show Gregory Carosi: Axis will open at the gallery on Saturday, January 14.
The product of six months worth of work, Mr Carosi said the process had been at times both challenging and dangerous.
“They are very physical works, I made all of the frames as well and putting it all together was an incredible learning curve, I learned how to use a table saw, and I kept all of my fingers,” he laughed.
“People think painting is relaxing, but for me it is about intellectually engaging with paintings and with places.”
With the landscape of the Riverina now shaping his works, the change in how different communities live in relation to water has been a source of interest for the artist, who previously had painted urban pieces, and a focus of the exhibition.
“On the coast, living near the beach is a luxury, but out here the rivers and channels are about sustaining life,” he said.