A self-taught artist, Joshua Searle’s themes relate to childhood, Black genius, joy, colonisation, urbanisation, cross-cultural experiences, industrialisation and psychology. Born and raised on the Mornington Peninsula, much of his work explores the inner workings of the mind, memory and childhood experience.
Primarily a painter, using a variety of mediums including acrylic, oil stick, oil pastel, pencil, enamel and spray paint. His work involves an environmental practice of painting on and with found materials, as well as large canvases. His initial explorations of painting were largely sparked by the inspiration of Haitian-Puerto Rican-American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. A particular influence has been Basquiat’s use of colour, cryptic text, challenging contextual aspects, and often immense scale of his works.
Searle explores the diasporic position in contemporary societies founded upon migration and displacement in America and Australia. Searle simultaneously questions confronting issues whilst celebrating Black excellence and the triumphs as well as the struggles found within being a man of colour.