Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School


Simon Gunning (1969)

Simon Gunning is a celebrated artist based in the United States.

Simon Gunning is a celebrated artist based in the United States. He is renowned for painting local scenery, including the Southern Louisiana landscape. Simon has the ability to reproduce scenes from different times of the day and frame them in a way that captures the light and colours so unique to the landscape. His style of painting has been described as “an iconic personal statement about life, death, sorrow, and a love affair with an exotic land.”

In 1999, Gunning was awarded a Visual Artist Fellowship by the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Through this fellowship, his work has been exhibited in many public and private locations across the U.S.A as well as Paris, London, and Australia. Congratulations to Simon on his success!

Here, Simon tells us about his career, his memories of Glenaeon and plans for the future.

What have you been doing since school?

I began school at Dalcross in Pymble, and studied at Glenaeon until I was 13 years old in 1969.

When my parents moved to Melbourne, I enrolled at The Victorian College of Art where I studied painting and drawing. I was privileged to have Fred Williams as a private tutor for two semesters, and he put me on the path to where I am today.

Another important artist, David Hockney, visited the college and offered postgraduate scholarships in painting at the Royal Academy in London to the students, for which I applied and was accepted. However, I never made it to London.

I moved to the U.S.A over 30 years ago and, after a year in New York, I returned to New Orleans, which became my home and where I met my wife, Shelly. I worked as a bartender and waiter in the French Quarter of New Orleans until the chips fell into place for me and I made my way into the art world in the United States.

Essentially, I have drawn and painted all my life and plan to continue to do so, as I have not yet realised my contribution to the language of art.

What impact did Glenaeon have on your career choice?

Glenaeon had an enormous impact on my life and career as an artist. I was encouraged from the beginning and was nurtured in a very personal way. Alan Whitehead was one of my teachers; he was an artist, the first real one I met. Miss Sylvia Brose took me under her arm and provided me with a room to draw when the other kids pursued a broad range of cultural activities. The teachers were incredible; I don't remember all their names, however, we had a Math Teacher who took us camping in the Kangaroo Valley. The impact of the teachers was profound.

What is your favourite Glenaeon memory?

There are so many memories of Gleanaeon; from the day to day activities to playing in the bamboo patch and coming to school up Sugar Loaf Bay by kayak.

Also, there was an amusing incident when my brother Dan caught a red belly black snake and was sent home with the snake in a duffel bag. I went home with him for "safety " reasons, however, when Dan showed the snake off in the back of the bus to the housewives, they were not amused, and we were kicked off the 203 bus. As mum was driving along Edinburgh Road, she caught us heading home and brought us back to school and took the snake home. Much to our disappointment.

What are your plans for the future?

Being an artist is a hard-earned privilege, with which comes a responsibility to share and pass on the torch to others and shed light on the world. Thus, to use what you have created for a positive force in the world. It is the gift of alchemy. The future is an unfinished painting, and none of this would have ever been possible without the love and support of my wife and family.

See below for a few famous pieces of art created by Simon Gunning

Simon Gunning
Two Wrecks with Black Crowned Heron

Simon Gunning
Blue Nets on Blue
Simon Gunning
Passing Through the Harvey Canal


Want to know more about Simon Gunning and his work? Visit for more information.


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