This is an overview of Garry´s life to date.

Garry Orriss was born on October 7th, 1967, in Sydney, Australia. Born of German, French and Irish descent, Garry was adopted by an Australian couple of British origin. A gifted child, Garry grew up at 'Werombi', (meaning home of the wombat in the local Aboriginal dialect) - one of Australia's largest greyhound farms in New South Wales. Garry's love of photography was first inspired by pictures of 'Soki Headhunters' photographed between 1937-42 by his grandfather Allen Sneesby, who was among the first white-men to venture up the Fly River, in Papua New Guinea.
At age twelve Garry's sense of self was shattered when he learned of his adoption, bringing forth questions of identity and belonging. These issues required much contemplation, the evidence of which can be seen in early works, such as the etching 'Illusions'. The burden of this knowledge, combined with the break up of his family interfered with Garry's school education; however a subsequent move to Bundanoon, New South Wales, proved fortuitous.
Garry's first Solo Exhibition was held at the Bundanoon Pottery Gallery under the auspices of Wendy Smith - a great mentor, and friend to whom this website is dedicated. The exhibition featured photos and drawings inspired by the New Guinean culture.
At 16 Garry's first international trip was to visit India, Nepal and seven other countries with a group of friends on a spiritual pilgrimage to the Himalayan Mountains. The trek had a life altering impact on Garry, opening his heart to the sorrow and spiritual bliss of the world. This proved to be an early initiation into manhood for Garry, who celebrated his 17th birthday in Kathmandu, Nepal.
After returning to Australia, Garry was accepted into the highly respected Meadowbank School of Fine Art in Sydney, where he studied photography as part of a 2 year course. Initially interested in painting, Garry's passion for photography was fuelled by the works of artists such as Diane Arbus. That same year for his 18th birthday, Garry performed a public installation using his Mother's house for the site of a work which was then photographed. Titled, 'Party out of Bounds', this work represented Western dominance; its destructive influence, and consequential disbandment of cultural integrity and diversity. Present on that occasion was girlfriend, Kerrie Morgan, a fellow student destined to be of deep significance to Garry throughout his life.
After graduating from Meadowbank, Garry began a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art, at the City Art Institute Sydney. While at college, Garry painted the last official portrait of Australian master painter Lloyd Rees, just prior to his death. The portrait was to be entered into the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and was later sold for $10 000 dollars - a staggering price for the work of such a young artist, still virtually unknown within the Sydney Arts community.
Deferring his studies, Garry rented an Art Studio at Bundanoon, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales and excelled by freeing himself from the constraints of formal education.
Second Prize, In the Special Commemorative Bicentennial Royal Easter Show Drawing Award held at the Sydney Showground in Sydney, Australia.
Highly Commended Award, Australian National Student Art Prize, Bathurst, Australia.
First Prize, Experimental Photo Award, Bowral, Australia.
First Prize, Prime Café Photo Prize, Byron Bay, Australia. Later that year Garry and Canadian friend, Paul Ryan, travelled 20,000 kms around Australia, Non-Stop on a motorcycle, in the hope of breaking the race record set in the Guinness Book of records. They failed, though did manage to raise some money for the Australian Cancer Foundation. This soon had a special meaning for Garry as he lost a friend to the disease soon after.
By the age of 21 Garry's artwork was being displayed in solo exhibitions and group shows. One such exhibition held at the Old Brewery Gallery in Goulburn, New South Wales, saw Garry's artwork hung alongside that of his former art teachers, most notably Gary Shinfield. In 1990, Garry met Liz Jordan, and within a year, saw the birth of his only child Samuel Vincent; - an event that galvanised Garry's need to trace his own biological roots.
Unable to shoulder the responsibility of fatherhood, Garry left with little more than his Bicycle and art supplies and turned the quest to meet his birth mother into an adventure. Thus began an epic journey that would later take Garry through 45 countries in a trip totalling 50,000 km and with a time span of over 4˝ years to achieve, from Bundanoon to Berlin.
Garry's travels provided endless inspiration for his creative pursuits. With a motto of 'one work a day', Garry always carried large-format Sketchbooks, and devoted every day of his journey to producing at least one work, using a variety of media - a remarkable achievement! Many of these works and sketchbooks have since been displayed in subsequent exhibitions. During this 4˝ year period Garry's travels supplied the seeds for what would become his life's work: - 'Relationships'. Experiencing cultural diversity first-hand, Garry gained much insight into the interaction and integration of the earth's peoples. This understanding inspires and forms the basis of Garry's art today.
After travelling extensively throughout Australia and abroad, Garry met Susanne Schlisio, of the former East Germany, and together they cycled for the next two years towards Europe. Susanne was the perfect companion and it was whilst riding beside her that Garry learned the German language.
In mid 1994, Garry briefly returned to Australia.
Garry finally reached Berlin, ending years of arduous travel. Within a week of his arrival Garry's Grandfather passed away, poignantly marking the end of one chapter in Garry's life and the beginning of another.
Five of Garry's artworks were specially selected for the Prestigious Salon Des Printemps exhibition held in Luxembourg.
With his love of languages, of which he speaks four, Garry made a move to Beijing. While in China Garry photographed for the German five star hotel Kempinski. In a list which reads like the who's who of world power, Garry's subjects included German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, U.S. President George Bush and the British Prime minister Tony Blair along with a host of other dignitaries and heads of state. As a Chinese speaking Australian artist from Berlin, Garry naturally attracted a lot of attention. As a result, one of China's most widely read newspapers; 'International News' wrote a full page feature on Garry's life and time in China.
Garry returned to Germany for the opening of his major international exhibition titled: 'Past and Present' held at the Carl Zeiss P. Museum in Berlin. Included in the 'Long Night of the Museums', Garry's exhibition was a great success. One of the works was acquired by Ulli Sigg, the former Swiss ambassador to China, billionair, Chairman and CEO of the Schindler corporation. Garry was invited to Switzerland, to produce a set of commissioned works while staying on the private island, Castle Mauensee.
After greeting the new millennium in Australia, Garry returned to Berlin, and in February, met the international prize-winning Goldsmith, Claudia Baetge. Recognising Garry's remarkable talent, Claudia hosted an exhibition of Garry's work in her showroom studios, becoming Garry's first major sponsor. Over the next years Garry's belief in his art and the vision it entailed would lead him to many personal achievements. Listed below are some of the highlights from that period.
After arduous planning and preparation, Relationships was finally born with the creation of the first portrait.
Saw the acquisition of the TLD (Top Level Domain), in association with Goartworld.
In paying homage to his Grandfather and the Soki tribesmen, Garry photographed Hulli warrior, Willy the Hulli; one of the last surviving head-hunters from Papua New Guinea. This portrait connects original inspiration with creative culmination, some 30 years later, bringing Garry full circle.
Garry photographed Ten Couples, symbolising Multi-culturalism in the 21st century. To achieve his vision, Garry searched for 20 people of different origins, to represent the varying threads of culture & colour woven together within the fabric of society.
Flying to Australia with two assistants, Garry photographed the Aboriginal couple Octivia and Wayne. This work comments on Aboriginality and the integrity of two extraordinary individuals from the Birpi peoples.
Solo exhibition at the artists Berlin studio. Opened by Helmut Schmitt and the Australian ambassador to Germany Ian Kemish.
Coinciding with the official launch of the Garry Orriss Art website, saw the release of Garry's first fine-art poster, Mario and Yvonne Plate 8 which was printed in 4 languages and sold in over 60 countries. The overwhelming success of this fine-art poster then launched Garry onto the international stage. That same year Garry met his birth father the many time Australian National Rodeo Champion Gary 'Bronco' Cullen and made history by becoming the world's first Three Generation Adoption. Contact us to Buy a Book with an accompanying CD about his father.

Until now Garry has not yet been reunified with his birth mother Renate.

Garry Orriss is a bold new voice in the contemporary Arts arena; a messenger for our time with work that commands awe and admiration. He has held exhibitions in many countries and his artwork adorns the walls of numerous galleries and countless private art collections. Currently there is a film being made about Garry, his life and work which will accompany a book to be released in Europe and the U.S. in June 2010. is dedicated to the memory of Allen Sneesby & Wendy Smith in honour of the roles they played in forming and shaping Garry's life. In keeping with their wishes a portion of GoArt's finances are used to help fight against cancer and leukaemia. For information to see where the money goes click here.

Blue Underlining represents a photo best describing the situation. You can come back by clicking return.
The symbol represents a link to another page on this website. You can come back by closing that page.

Add Goart to your list of favorite websites
Tell a Friend - info
Go to Galleries

Copyright 2007 - 2010
Garry Orriss and All Rights Reserved
© All photographs and information appearing on this website is copyright under U.S. and international law.

[ Homepage ]   [ Gallery ]    [ Site Map ]     [ Shops ]     [ Reciprocal Link ]

Go to Top