Veteran reignites spark for art

Ted Krzywokulski with his 2017 painting 'A Sacred Meeting Place'.

By Taylah Eastwell

Looking at the art lining the walls at Emerald Hills Hub, the bright colours, lines and form of Ted Krzywokulski’s paintings each tell their own unique story.

But the most inspiring story in the room doesn’t hang on the wall, on a canvas or in a frame – it lies within the very man behind the paintbrush.

Ted Krzywokulski had not long finished his first year of his commercial art course when he found himself conscripted to the Armed Forces, training in Australia for 12 months and then climbing into an airplane headed for Vietnam in 1967.

At just 20-years of age, his art dreams were put on hold as he stood for our country in its hour of need.

“Things went so quickly, once your number came up you had to go for a medical and off you went, you didn’t really have time to think about it. Before you know it you’re on your way to Vietnam, which obviously had an impact on my life and still does to some degree,” he said.

“When I came back, I had no desire to paint,” Ted said.

But after a 50-year hiatus, Ted’s passion for art has been reignited, with six-week exhibition of his works currently on show at Emerald Hills Hub.

Titled ‘Journey in Time’, Ted Krzywokulski’s exhibition includes a representation of works from his days at Caulfield Technical College as well as a couple of works painted post-Vietnam. His current works reflect a deeper reality, one that requires eyes that can see and a language for form, colour, line and symbol.

Looking at his wife of 50 years, Krystine, Ted said he had her to thank for keeping him “on the straight and narrow”.

Krystine said “it was really that encouragement from family, myself and very dear friends” who told Ted “you’ve got to focus your emotion elsewhere to try and get out of that dark place by getting back into the studio and doing what you love, your passion for painting that you loved so much before you went to Vietnam”.

Ted found his way back to his passion for art around five years ago and hasn’t looked back.

“My studio is a place of solitude and peace for me. A private place. It takes me away from the crazy world we live in, but it’s also a place of massive energy. But I am in control of it; that’s what I get my pleasure from and the paintings are my own personal narrative,” Ted said.

“Now I encourage people to look at my work and derive their own narrative from them. I’m not telling them what they should think or feel. It is very subjective and my narrative is my feelings and my expression,” he said.

The Journey in Time exhibition will run from 25 June until 30 July at the Hills Hub.

An official opening will take place on Saturday 24 July at 2pm.