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Reuben Boughtwood's artistic evolution.

From childhood sketches to Sydney murals:

By Lucy Pearson

Growing up in New Zealand, in a bustling family of five children, artist Reuben Boughtwood - when left to his own devices - often found himself exploring and creating his own worlds. Those were simpler times – there no internet distractions, just the freedom of playing outdoors and letting imagination run wild. This independent spirit led him to develop a deep love for art from a young age. Now settled in Sydney’s inner-west – a place whose vibrant community and support have been instrumental in his artistic journey - we caught up with Reuben to find out a bit more about how art has shaped his life, and how he found himself living in Marrickville.

Reuben Broughton


“My earliest memories of art are filled with half-finished projects and sketches. While I often began with grand plans to study animals or interesting topics, I would usually find myself absorbed in the act of drawing or painting, losing track of time. Thisintroverted nature became even more pronounced after a serious shoulder injury at age 17. During the six months I spent recovering at home, art became my sanctuary. It was during this period that I truly committed myself to the craft.”


Art, for Reuben, has been a constantly evolving journey, “while my style has undergone transformations over the years, it currently blends elements of realism and surrealism. My work often serves as a reflection of my life's experiences, with emotions and events seeping into each piece. Looking back, I often recognize these themes only after the fact.”


Throughout his career, he’s had the privilege of working on numerous projects that he’s immensely proud of, and explained that one highlight was creating murals for the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation. “The opportunity to meet patients' families and interpret their stories into art was incredibly rewarding.”


He moved to Australia over a decade ago with his wife, and - after trying various jobs- discovered his passion for wall painting during an aerosol company-sponsored festival. From that moment onwards, he knew that this was what he wanted to pursue professionally. He says of Marrickville, “I love the inner-west! It has such a forward-thinking approach to public art and culture, which is really reflected in the people who live there. People are always excited to see you out painting and to speak with you.” He also explains that one of the area’s main allures is that the inner-west council funds “more public art than any place I’ve seen round the world. They have several different programs that support Artists and commission works.”

Reuben Broughton


Reuben says that he finds inspiration everywhere, “while social media, particularly Instagram, serves as a contemporary source of inspiration, I draw inspiration from a myriad of places. Films, natural patterns in stone, and other artists like Vesod, Case McClaim, Adnate, and Fintan Magee, among many others, inspire me daily.”


Like many artists, Rueben’s goals for the future are constantly evolving, but painting a silo remains a dream project. “I'm eager to delve into smaller communities and create art that resonates with their stories and culture.” And while he says that the hardest thing about being an artist is wearing so many hats when working for yourself, he explains that getting to paint every day never feels like work.


As for the future, it's simple – Reuben wants to continue painting. With several large-scale projects on the horizon, including a trip to Griffith for a 12-day painting session, he’s excited about what lies ahead. “I cherish commissions that allow me to explore my conceptual ideas and incorporate my own photographs,” he says.



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