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Andrew Baines - autonomist 640px

“…for me art is about bringing out an inner naivety…”


andrew3Andrew has lived in South Australia all his life, immigrating from the UK with his parents. From just one year old he was raised on the beaches in the western Adelaide suburbs, which have become a heartland for his inspiration. From a young age he had always considered himself as an artist. In fact, from the age of ten, Andrew has sold his works to teachers and parents for up to five dollars per cartoon illustration. He also developed his skills as a painter at this young age, attending painting classes at Henley and Grange Art Society. Andrew began a commercial art degree at the SA School of Art Underdale campus, and abandoned it after two years. Feeling he wanted to go in a different direction, Andrew pursued autonomy over his career “…I felt the art they taught wasn’t the way I envisaged art should be…for me art is about bringing out an inner naivety which could only be developed on your own.” He strives to bring out philosophical ideas in his work, and represents subjects and symbolic meaning through the ideologies that he has derived from his own life experiences. He attempts to convey ideas of escapism, the predictability of life, conformity and perceived normality, as well as the desire for individual autonomy. His work is self described as antipodean surrealism. Today, Andrew seeks to collaborate with organisations and associations such as Wirra Wirra Vineyards, United Nations Association of Australia and Holstein Australia, bringing his unique perspectives and concepts to highlight their causes through photography and installations. You can find his work online.

Q. Have you lived in South Australia for your whole life?

A. I have lived in S.A since the age of one, prior to Immigrating from the UK with my parents


Q. How has South Australia influenced your art?

A. I’ve lived by the beach in the western suburbs since a child, this has become my heartland for inspiration & concepts.


Q. When did you know you wanted to be an Artist?

A. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been an artist in my own mind.


Q. How would you describe your art?

A. Representational painting. Quasi-surrealism with use of figurative concepts.


Q. Is your art based on any particular themes &/or ideas?

A. Escapism, from the life’s predictability, conformity and perceived normality, which I portray via my antipodean surrealism. Also, The desire to have as much autonomy over my own life.


Q. Where did you start your journey as a visual artist (formal education)?

A. I began a commercial art degree at the SA School of Art Underdale campus but stopped after two years, as it wasn’t the way I decided I wanted to go.


Q. Are there any other mediums that you enjoy working with?

A. Photography, film and books.


Q. What projects are you currently working on, if any?

A. I’m collaborating with the United Nations Association of Australia to send a 2m “Peace Message in a bottle” to UN headquarters NYC, then on to other locations globally. Also, collaborating with The ACH Group, Common Ground  & Holstein Australia on major photographic & installation projects to help high light their causes.


Q. Are there any aspects of your art that you find particularly challenging?

A. Dealing with red tape from councils.


Q. Which is more important to you, the symbolic meaning of your work or the visual presentation?

A. The symbolic meaning.


Q. Do you have favourite pieces from your portfolio? Why?

A. In 2012, I collaborated with Holstein Australia to put a herd of cows in the ocean as a way of metaphorically letting them escape from their servile existence to enjoy nature, nature being Geelong beach in Victoria. Also, lining up over 100 volunteers along the coast gazing on to the horizon, all dressed in white, while holding red, white & blue umbrellas aloft, as an act of solidarity towards the Parisians, a few days after the Paris terrorist attacks. I feel these events made a difference, as they were seen internationally, I received a lot of feedback.


Q. Describe the ideal environment for your creative process.

A. I don’t have an ideal environment for my photography, I like the challenge of making something out of what nature throws at me. When I paint, which is every day, I need a perfect temperature of about 21c, no distractions, music in the background and coffee!


Q. How has media (traditional or social) influenced your art?

A. Main stream media has given me an amazing platform to show my work and has opened many doors for me. I have tailored my concepts to be media friendly, so I have the maximum chance of coverage. I’m quite new to social media but am getting great results via Twitter. Twitter has bought out the philosopher in me and has added another level to my work.


Q. Are you able to make a living as an artist?

A. Yes, I make a good wage. I’ve been full-time for twenty years but can’t rely on the S.A art market to pay all the bills. I have to exhibit nationally and Overseas. Which I enjoy!

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Wine Label painting for Wirra Wirra Vineyards, McLaren Vale, S.A.

Cover for Surf Livesaving in South Australia

CD cover for ABC Classics, featuring music by ASO’s principal tuba player Peter Whish Wilson

Cover for ‘I met God in Bermuda’, Author Steven Ogden.

Painting for the ACH group

United Nations Association of Australia, painting for official envelopes

CD cover artwork for Lithuanian Pop/Rock band Bet Bet

Magazine cover art for Dialogue UK


Semi-Finalist 2013 Doug Moran national Portrait Prize

Finalist 2012 Mortimer Art Prize for Surrealism

Finalist 2011 Nora Heysen Art Prize for Still Life, SA.

Finalist 2009 Whyalla Art Prize.

Finalist ANL Maritime Art Prize, Vic.

Finalist 2008 Fleurieu Peninsula Vistas Prize, SA.

Finalist 2008 Corangamarah Art Prize, VIC.

Finalist 2007 Whyalla Art Prize.

Finalist 2007 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.

Short listed for The Adelaide Fringe 2007 Poster Competition.

Finalist 2006 the Fleurieu Peninsula Water Prize.

Finalist 2006 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

Finalist 2006 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.

Cathedral Art Show 2005 Winner Best observation of human nature.

Finalist 2005 Heysen Prize for Australian Landscape.

Finalist 2005 Spirit of the Outback Waltzing Matilda Art Competition.

Finalist 2004 Doug Moran Portrait Prize.

Finalist 2004 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.

Finalist 2004 Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale Art Prize for Australian Landscape.

Finalist 2004 grey masts Art Prize. (highly commended)


ANZ Bank,Singapore

Australian Embassy Rome, Italy

Adelaide University (Roseworthy College)

Advertiser Newspapers

National Foods

South Australian Department for Emergency Services

Smorgan Family Melbourne

St Hildas Anglican Girls School, Mosman W.A.

St Aloysius College, Adelaide S.A.

Nichi engineering, Malaysia

ACH Group S.A.

Government House S.A.

United Nations Association of Australia A.C.T.

Common Ground S.A.

Holstein Australia VIC.