Art has always had a profound presence in M.E. Baird's life. As a child and teenager, he was surrounded by extended family members who were established artists, writers, creatives and thinkers. After being expelled from high school at sixteen he enrolled to do a diploma in fine arts at the local technical college. However, after a few years of working in construction to support his music-making, he decided to undertake and fund himself through a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture, followed by a master's in architecture. This was initially to placate his immediate family who insisted he needed a backup career should his music and art pursuits crumble. Entering the mind-expanding world of universities, especially an institution such as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), City Campus would have a profound and enduring effect. So much so, it led him to pursue a teaching and academic career in art and design at various art schools and universities in Australia including UNSW, Colledge of Fine Arts + Design (COFA), Sydney University, RMIT University and Deakin University, from 1997 to 2014.
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CURRENT SERIES 'GHOST BOATS'
2019 - present.
'Boats, Ships, Oceans and vast bodies of water have been used in art symbolically for centuries, with many different representations. For me, the initial attraction for boats and the sea came as a child. I grew up in a bay suburb. Seeing their forms clustered at piers or silhouetted cargo ships on the bay horizon gave me a great sense of calm and I was in awe of those brave humans who would crew these vessels (carriers) to far-off and most likely exotic locations. However, as a young boy, I was involved in a minor capsising that trapped me underwater. It was a truly frightening experience, that would haunt me in dreams for decades. Fast forward to 2019, and while undertaking treatment for cancer. I strangely became interested in boats and the sea again. I found myself unconsciously exploring my emotions, fears, and uncertainty through these vessels that became the Ghost Boat series. Hence we now find them in all their bleakness and austerity as motionless lone figures in what appears to be a barren seascape, either awaiting the tide to return or dry docking, taking refuse and repair from the deluge of life. The cloured sphere/s is hope, an illuminated Jewell, to give warmth, light, companionship and a sense of buoyancy.'