In a century old house, at the far end of Ford Street, the one with the green door, lived Max.
Residing here for nearly his entire life, the home was an artistic mecca full of the remnants of a life of making, collecting and cultivating the cultural life of the Upper Hunter. I am told that Max's house was a special place, a place where locals would gather to paint, talk-art and learn. A place where all were welcome, treated fairly and given time. Max's House was a place where his parents had tolerated an exponentially growing eclectic collection, a collection which started to support a beloved brother but grew with community purpose. In this house, the collection grew so large it would sometimes cover doors and windows and hang everywhere possible.
In Max's house he had two studios, affectionately called the Summer and Winter Studio, one the living room and other the kitchen bench. In his house, over the course of a lifetime, Max painted numerous works depicting, coincidentally, the homes, architecture and landscapes of the Hunter. Now his collection is a legacy. A gift to the community from a man who wanted to make sure that his home town had access to gems of artistic greatness. By all accounts Max was a humble giant, he was a man whose actions, spirit and generosity changed the very fabric of his town...
Over the last several months, not long after Max passed away, Todd Fuller commenced a residency to research Max's life and story. Working in lockdown, he interviewed Muswellbrook locals and undertook a digital residency for the Muswellbrook Arts Centre to explore the Max Watters' legacy.
Max passed away on February 1, 2020 and was shortly followed by his brother Frank Watters on May 22.
These works were created as part of the Muswellbrook Artist in Residence Program. The Artist gratefully acknowledges the support of the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre and Muswellbrook Shire Council.