Born in Melbourne, Russell Halden spent much of his youth in Box Hill, not far from the Streeton Artists Camp in Box Hill.
His work is influenced by the environment, having spent a great deal of time in the Bamah Forest with his father and brother, ca
mping, fishing and hunting, acquiring a life-long love of the Australian bush, the colours, foliage types, difference with the seasons and weather conditions.
Russell also spent school breaks family farms around the Picola, Kotupna and Bamah, where he absorbed the ambience of farming life. He has indulged in many professions over the years including: banking, bricklaying, broadacre fencing, timber felling and post cutting, steel fabrication/welding and much more.
He joined the Army and spent 26-years in the service seeing a large portion of Australia on exercises. He was a Reserve Soldier most of the time, but did several stints of full-time service.
From 1989 onwards, he ran his own business in the building industry, mainly in housing, undertaking renovations and minor extensions and maintenance jobs. He was also involved with the Australian Army Cadet Corps - with 31 Army Cadet Unit for 36-years, and is currently serving as Officer Commanding.
Russell did not consider taking up the paintbrush until 2003. He had accrued injuries over a lifetime of soldiering and laborious work, and found he needed to take on something a little more gentle on the body.
Inspired by Australian landscapes and by the impressionist work of Sir Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, and Charles Condor, Russell has successfully exhibited in numerous exhibitions, however this is his first solo.
With many family connections in the region, including his brother currently living in St Arnaud, and their great grandmother once residing at Beasley's Bridge, this exhibition is a homecoming of sorts.
A number of the paintings in this exhibition reflect scenes from the area.