Angel to an Angel – local Artist – Phil Meatchem

by LukeAdmin

The recent big wet across the Central Coast in February & March saw a local family relocation business – Transition Angels reach out to relocate and help another Angel and popular local Artist – Phil Meatchem. The challenge was to help pack and move the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel charcoal portrait along with Phil, his studio and belongings. After relocating from the Northern Beaches of Sydney 3 years ago to the relaxed waterfront lifestyle of Tuggerah Lakes – “enough was enough” said Phil after 3 years of continuous flooding each February thru his home and studio.  

The Transition Angels hands on team arrived just in time to rescue and assist Phil, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel and his collection of works including Archibald Prize Finalist pieces to relocate to Higher Ground.

It was extremely tough conditions on moving day to get the complete move done between heavy down pours. It was patience, very thorough wrapping and timing required to co-ordinate the move. But the journey was made even more memorable working alongside Phil the ex 40 year TV advertising director, with Phil sharing the history and inspiration behind all his works with the Transition Angel team as they worked. Most impressive was the massive 1.8m x 1.2m Charcoal masterpiece “The Frontline Worker” and the story behind the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. Because of their elaborate butter – matted afro hairstyles – Fuzzy Wuzzy was the name given by Australian soldiers to Papua New Guinean war carriers who, during World War II, were recruited to bring supplies up to the frontline and carry injured Australian troops down the Kokoda trail during the Kokoda Campaign.

Jenni Olyslagers proud caring owner of the downsizing family business of 8 years organised for Phil’s art to get their own private entourage for the move across to the next suburb of Tumbi Umbi offering higher ground and a bonus bushland setting. The Transition Angel team paid special caring attention as the Wuzzy Fuzzy Angel canvas was carefully double bubble wrapped for the journey. It was an absolute honour to assist Phil with his recent relocation and helping the popular artist to get his studio set up immediately to keep the creative paint brushes, palette knives and charcoal flowing for the 5 pieces he has due for upcoming Autumn Exhibitions. Our hands on moving team were left in awe from the day as they learnt the history of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, to witness and hear the stories of other popular masterpieces featuring David Attenborough, Mick Jagger, Elton John, 70’s surf culture, Ringo Star, Elvis, Alan Brough, Francis Greenslade, Game of Thrones charatures and many more.

You will always find Phil’s work on display across Art Galleries throughout Australia, but for a local guaranteed viewing or opportunity to purchase  – The Glass Onion Society Coffee Shop at Long Jetty proudly have a variety of pieces on display up on the walls. If you are lucky, you may even bump into Phil enjoying a coffee at his local with his family and friends after a surf or Sunday cruise in the 1961 Dodge. Just this week, “The Frontliner Worker” has made the shortlist as a finalist in the Gallipoli Art Prize with a $20,000 first prize said Phil.

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