Stormie Mills

“I was lucky enough to be asked to write the forward to Stormie Mills latest book ‘DWI YMA’.

To celebrate the launch of the book and my new web site, I am giving away a copy of this beautiful publication.

Please tell me in under 25 words what Stormie’s works means to you.”

In the nineteenth century Charles Dickens gave us the unforgettable Oliver, the story of a boy who dared to ask for more food when his poverty and class should have kept him compliant and grateful for offerings already consumed. In the twentieth century, post World War II, Antoine Exupéry created The Little Prince who asked humankind to become again, as children, and learn to find wonderment in the world.

Now in Australia, Stormie Mills has created his character that scuffles and scrapes across the canvas – and dances, and tip-toes and cautiously strolls across the surfaces of our mind. The plea is to feel rather than to think and to be open to all that one can be in the presence of our own frailty. If you meander with the character throughout the gallery and open your heart to his lament, to his joy, his fears, his puzzlement and the courage of his self scrutiny you would have experienced the forces of love and hate; of darkness and light- but mostly you would have recognized the full gamut of emotions that one experiences endlessly.

This little character canvases truth and its dimensions are not easy to sell, as feeling these emotions, with the intensity that the work demands, is exhausting. Yet it is the pain that brings its own liberation and as we look at the confounded character shot with the arrow of love, or looking inside himself for an answer, or knowing that we all walk around with the idea of home – some ultimate home – that is never quite found – we recognise the message that is being whispered. Like The Little Prince, Stormie Mills’s character will not accept rationalisations or excuses. This is life – and it is the role of humankind to relentlessly seek truth in the face of its enigma. On the journey there are wishes and desires to answer and fears to address. We watch the little creature fishing with a sense of tranquility; we see his net filled with trophies.

But then we are brought down to earth, and seated on the ground. We look with dismay at the bike that will not deliver freedom, or hold up for scrutiny the second skin we wear when coping with living among others.

These human states so brilliantly conceived by Stormie Mills are done starkly and yet with such understanding and compassion – so that when his character puts his arms around a fellow gumnut creature and offers shelter from the rain, we know that we are not only facing our fears or exercising impossible desires, but that we are being treated with tenderness. Stormie Mills gives us the overview of our humanness in all its variety, and despite the darkness and the fears, there is a purging of a kind that lightens the weight and asks us to find courage to be creative and positive like a child unscathed. This is what Nietzsche would call ‘the innocence of becoming’. This is what I call facing ones demons with an ironic smile. We will all have our personal responses – it is impossible not to.

Alex McCulloch

For more information on Stormie go to www.stormiemills.com or www.metrogallery.com.au