ENGRAVER Perry Fletcher found his niche in the art world after completing a five-month tour of Vietnam during his two years as a national service conscript, or Nasho.
Now living in Mt Martha, Fletcher says he was in need of rest and inspiration after those two years of army life and went to Europe.
While touring the galleries and studying art he realised there was no shortage of good painters but saw few exhibited engravings “and none of any significant size”.
Returning to Australia in 1970 he moved into a one-room flat in Hawthorn and bought five feet by two feet piece of brass.
Six years later The Last Supper and Borders was complete, bringing praise and elevating Fletcher’s name to that of the forefront of the art world.
Hailed a masterpiece, The Last Supper and Borders is seen as possibly being the largest engraving completed on a single piece of brass in modern times.
Its completion led to Fletcher being written about internationally and his work being shown in Queens Hall, Parliament House, Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital.
Fletcher used a dentist’s drill to accomplish the engraving which took more than 3000 hours to etch out the 370 figures, 500 scrolls and 30,000 dots. He worked early mornings and late nights between his day job as an engraver.
Also known as Fletcher the etcher, he still uses a dentist’s drill on a variety of mediums for his art: glass, goose eggs, wax seals and brass as well as trophies for the Australian Open, the Olympic Committee, Vermont football club, Bonville Golf Resort and Collingwood Football Club.
Fletcher is also a painter (landscapes, seascapes, animals, waves) and a poet.
He has “interpreted” Van Gogh and Monet and other impressionist masters.
Perry Fletcher’s exhibition at Oak Hill Gallery, 100 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Mornington, 1-31 May, 70 – A Journey So Far, shows the diversity of his work. Call 5973 4299.