"Portrait of Heinz " Switzerland 1954 , painted by his father Max Steinmann
23 years before Crocodile Dundee, Heinz in the Gulf Country, 1963
1985: World's second fastest athlete over age 40
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Heinz Steinmann was born in Switzerland, 1943.
Art is very much a family affair for Heinz as his Swiss father Max Steinmann (1918 - 1994 ) was an outstanding artist of the Ecole Nationale des Beaux - Arts, France. Heinz's Australian born sister Evelyn Steinmann and his Japanese born wife Miwako are also dedicated artists.
In 1958, when Heinz was 15 the Steinmann family left Switzerland to settle in Australia.
He completed his education at Bathurst High School in 1961 with first class honours.
Instead of going on to university he headed north for the Gulf Country with a rifle and sketch book. He spent two years crocodile hunting as a living with sleeping bag and mosquito net as outdoor 'home' for months at a time.
After the croc hunting years he held numerous short term jobs to back his drawing material, including railway fettler and survey chainman in the remote bush north of Mt. Isa.
Heinz later joined the lobby to protect crocodiles from being shot out.
Back in NSW, he took up some short term office jobs ; played bass guitar for two years as a living with the "Roulettes" quartet with his older brother Max on guitar, Tony Lee on drums and Bill Weir on keyboard. Heinz also enjoyed cycling and soccer as sports.
At 26 he turned to his art as a full time career which started on the opal fields of Lightning Ridge in 1969 before moving permanently to Far North Queensland.
As a young school boy he was not only gifted in drawing but also an exceptionally fast runner. Apart from winning at school he never considered taking up sprinting seriously, until the age of 38.
Since then Steinmann holds many athletics records, some still standing after 30 years. He has won over 100 medals in Masters and open athletics in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, with a silver in the World Masters Championships in Rome, 1985; the sprint double gold in the U.S. Masters in San Diego in 1989, and the 200 metres gold in the European Championships in Budapest 1990.
He is one of the few athletes in world athletics who have run 100 metres under 11 seconds when aged over 40.
He is still running and is co-holder of a World Record in the 4 x 400 metres relay in World Masters Athletes over 65.
what others have said about Heinz Steinmann:
"It's a very rare thing to find a young artist like Heinz prepared to take the long hard road to master such skill on his own, and in his own way." James Wieneke, director, Queensland Art Gallery, 1969
"Heinz Steinmann's paintings have a spiritual quality about them. They contain a powerful conservation message as ambassadors on behalf of nature; the term 'World Without End" comes to mind. Author Sir Laurens van der Post, Inverness, Scotland, 1983
"Steinmann's works are not confined to mere visual documentation; they are lived through acts of a creative process echoing the endless mysteries behind nature. We don't just walk from painting to painting; all are permits of entry into a captivating magical world with a message from the artist Heinz Steinmann; a message for us all." Dr Karl Erich Graebner, ZDF television, Munich, 1986
"Heinz Steinmann's beautiful interpretations of the far north tropical rainforests impressed me from the first time I saw them and I'm unaware of anybody else having tackled this awe-inspiring subject in quite the same way. Such is the colour, mood and atmosphere Heinz captures, that for ages I have been toying with the idea of adding a musical dimension to his art. And so; the "Babinda Trilogy". It has been an exciting challenge. Don Burrows, Sydney 1991
"He paints what he has known, and lived and loved for years. It is not the result of an urban based person with art schooling who once in a while goes bush for a couple of days to get his subject matter. Steinmann lives his subject matter. He made a conscious decision to drop every other endeavour and devote himself fully to art, for better or worse, richer or poorer and live in the environments chosen as his subject matter. John Stuart Parish, from "Heinz Steinmann; Retrospective" 1999