Frankston native Belinda “Billy” Nye thanks her Peninsula upbringing for the aesthetic that now dominates her work. She recalls summer days of her youth spent flying down Oliver’s Hill on her bike from her family home to sketch sublime bay-side views from the Frankston pier. Nye’s first oil painting, completed at the age of seventeen as a gift to her mother, depicts the famed Oliver’s Hill in vivid colour, reminiscent in style of retro Australian icon, Ken Done.
Now a full-time artist and Curtin University graduate in Fine Art and Visual Culture, Nye takes refuge in her Mornington-based studio, watching the hours fly as she transfers her bold artistic vision into the disciplines of both painting and printmaking. After completing studies, Nye combines her theoretical learning with her creativity to present her own distinctive style.
“My work is inspired by the simplicity of the suburban streetscape; the paradise of domesticity. I see beauty in the everyday. I feel that artists David Hockney, Reg Mombassa and Howard Arkley view the mundane world with a similar sense of admiration,” says Nye, “After spending decades of my life abroad, I return to Oliver’s Hill and the quaint landscape of the Mornington Peninsula in my artistic mind. It has always been, and will remain a uniquely beautiful location to me; associated with nostalgia, but also brimming with potential for the future.
“These seemingly ordinary landmarks: swimming pools, houses, fences, power lines and suburban streets, are scenes of home. I don’t feel the need to travel anymore, as my own backyard serves as my private oasis. To me, there is no place like the Peninsula.”