In this intensely personal journal for his daughter, Joshua Yeldham charts his life from growing up on the Hawkesbury River to becoming one of the most astonishing artists Australia has produced in decades. Yeldham’s first foray into literature, Surrender, is an utterly compelling book that mirrors the complexity of his artistic practice, layering painting, photography, drawing and characteristically lithe prose. A soliloquy for his first-born, Surrender navigates Yeldham’s early life from the intense pain of schoolyard bullying as a boarder at a Sydney elite private school, to his time at Rhode Island School of Design, hiking in Venezuala and his odyssey into the Australian outback in a beat-up old kombi. It’s a privilege to be let into Yeldham’s exquisite world as he tells his daughter about his love for her mother – his collaborator and a photographer in her own right – the pain of discovering his infertility and the ensuing IVF journey, and the joy of fatherhood. Surrender is an immensely powerful work, celebrating Yeldham’s deeply spiritual affiliation with the land, belief in the succour of the creative imagination, and a reverential love of nature.
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