Time traveller

Cockatoo  Valley-based creative artist, Steve Oatway is “The Rejuvenator of Junk” and his art is certainly something different and very interesting.

Steve is a junk artist and he reincarnates junk into art. He produces alternate art using found objects and recycled materials while at the same time cleaning up the environment.

After moving to the area not long ago, Steve converted an old shearing shed on Balmoral Road into his art space called, ‘The Shearers’ Gallery’. 

Originally from the northern suburbs, Steve spent over 20 years in the Australian Government and eight years in the Defence Force in the army as a finance manager. 

Steve said, “I had a very stable, regimented government job and I was sent to do a night welding course where I discovered my creative side and it just developed from there.

“Not long after I left defence to pursue my dream of living and working as an artist.”

For several years, Steve lived at an Aboriginal community called Imanpa in the Northern Territory working with Mission Australia as a team leader youth worker, teaching the youth about junk art, giving them an opportunity to learn welding, while at the same time training those interested in boxing. 

“When I first presented the youth with piles of scrap metal to start making junk art, they looked at me strangely and said it was just a pile of junk but soon discovered their creative sides and were designing great junk art at a very fast speed,” Steve said.

Steve’s jam-packed studio/gallery, open to visitors,  contains his new junk unicycle jalopy, a three-wheel trike series, naive paintings (a style that uses childlike simplicity as subject matter and technique), and pop art landscapes. 

Steve’s most famous junk art piece called ‘Time Machine’ looks very quirky sitting in the shearing shed waiting for someone to jump on board and go for a flight. 

At the moment, Steve is busily working on his new pieces for up-coming exhibitions and he has been invited to take his work to New York for an exhibition.

The Shearers’ Gallery is located at 530 Balmoral Road, Cockatoo Valley and is open on weekends or during the week by appointment. For more information, contact Steve on 0423 035 223 or email renkrn8@optusnet.com.au 

REJUVENATED JUNK: Steve Oatway, creative artist, on board the time machine he built from junk.

REJUVENATED JUNK: Steve Oatway, creative artist, on board the time machine he built from junk.