About the Artist
Warren Davenport Keats OAM was born in 1928 at Lismore NSW, one of twelve siblings. Descended from pioneering families in northern New South Wales, Warren has traced his family’s roots back to the same location as the great English romantic poet, John Keats.
During world War II, Warren went to sea as a cadet age 16 years, on a ship carrying troops and munitions into war zones. After the war, he was a merchant seaman for twenty-four years. He has written four books:
McGregor and Cooloon—a history of the 1st pilot on Tweed R. and township.
My First Twenty-Three Years—his early autobiography.
Hindsight View—a later, comprehensive autobiography.
Flight to the South Land—Family history from 18thC researched 50 years.
Warren has illustrated many books. In 1985, his keen interest in history led him to found the Lower Tweed River (now Tweed Heads and District) Historical Society, becoming its 1st president. In 1995, they awarded him the Order of Australia Medal (OAM). This was for his role in the erection of a monument commemorating the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the hospital ship Centaur at Point Danger, Coolangatta and contributions to local history.
Warren worked as a biological illustrator with Uni of Qld and CSIRO. A prolific oil painter, he focuses his works on Tweed history. At 91 years young, Warren still lives in his home at Tweed Heads, where he paints daily in his quiet studio, overlooking his delightfully untamed back garden.
About the Painting
The Spearfishermen represents a historical event in 1875. J J Byrne arrived in Australia in 1869 at 6yo and quickly developed an interest in the local Aboriginal people. The painting depicts Byrne at the age of 12, helping natives to spear mullet from his dinghy in the Tweed River. Byrne went on to write many books and articles about the local indigenous people and Tweed in general.
Media and size:
The painting is approx 1.3M wide and and 1M tall.
Oil on canvas, unglazed. Frame is stained timber with gold inner emboss. All offers considered.