Hans Teichen I began painting in 1970, and finished in 1974. I'll explain how it began, why it ended, and what happened in between.

Up until 1970, I had been following the path of philosophy. I'd completed a Master's Thesis at Monash University under the supervision of Hans Teichen. I should explain something of this thesis as it led directly to my decision to start painting. My thesis was in a field of philosophy known as phenomenology.

Dr Teichen had established a name for himself in the field of phenomenology with his theory of oscillation. I realise that `oscillation' might sound a little obscure to you this afternoon, but Teichen's theory strikes to the heart of our understanding of order and disorder. I'll briefly explain this theory:

In philosophy, cosmologies have generally been of two kinds: those that see the world gradually falling apart into disorder, or entropy, and those that expect the world to acquire order and meaning over time. It is rare to find a fully worked theory which involves both kinds of processes. Hans Teichen claimed that the lived world oscillated between the two states of order and disorder; in phenomenology this is called `Rückbezogenheit'

`Rückbezogenheit' -- the rocking-back of reality. This Rückbezogenheit is essential in the experience of future time, perceived either as the coming separation from objects of care, or the anticipated restoration of one's responsibilities. His examples included travel, psychoanalysis, religious conversion, rites of passage. It was a way of reading experience that allowed for a kind of rhythm of meaning without seeming to reduce it to an abstract

It's pretty heady stuff, I admit. But those were the days when you could talk about 'phenomenology' without being embarrassed.