Patrick Connor has been a Visual Arts Teacher for CQUniversity and CQ TAFE for almost 20 years. For all that time, he’s made it his life’s work to pass on his passion for art to his students, many of whom have gone on to become talented artists in their own right. Patrick was the winner of the Bayton Award in 2012, and much of his artwork hangs in the Chancellery building at Rockhampton North campus.
What is your first memory?
I have a fond, early memory of putting a green tree frog in the driver’s seat of a large toy jeep I owned as a boy. I tied the bumper of the jeep to the sissy bar of my first push bike and drove carefully around the clothesline, looking back frequently to view the frog ‘driving’ the jeep. I still like frogs.
What was a recent highlight of your life?
Holding a solo exhibition recently at the Rockhampton Art Gallery.
What is the best thing about CQUni?
The dedicated and amazing people I work with and my students. Students in the creative industries are often engaged in a really personal journey. It can be very satisfying assisting people with a process that is often very meaningful to them. You can often see how the journey changes them.
Who has made an impact upon your life? Why?
Aside from my parents and family, my teachers have had a large impact on my life. I have a friend who describes teaching as ‘the profession’. My painting teacher, Charlie Boyle has been a big influence. My colleague and friend Peter Indans was also a big influence. Both are/were engaging people with a real depth of experience and knowledge. I think I was fascinated by their backgrounds, which were very different to my own.
If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?
I don’t think that I have a very good memory so a super memory would be great.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Wouldn’t it be good if people were more empathetic, tolerant and understanding? ‘Care’ is a complicated word, but we could all probably care a little more.
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Dennis Lillee. I met him in a bar I worked at in Perth. I told him that I styled my bowling action after him when I was a boy. He cleared the busy bar and asked me to show him, which I did. His nod and expression indicated mild approval.