Born in London in 1920 into a family linage of journeymen tailors to royalty on his mother’s side and a horse rustler turned antique dealer with a passion for painting on his father’s side. With the death of his mother, Raymond from age two, spent his childhood as an orphan before coming to NSW Australia in 1939 through a youth immigration scheme. In 1940 he joined the WW2 Australian infantry. At 21 he was amongst Australia’s deadliest jungle fighters against the Japanese on the Malay peninsula before the Allies’ surrender, after which he spent four long years as a POW in Changi and on the Burma railway. Here he learnt to paint and draw and remarkably kept diaries dotted with emotive drawings.
Immediately after his discharge from the military hospital he married Elma Mackay Gibson. They lived and worked in the Horsley Park Post Office where Ray was the Post Master and had a studio. In 1946 Moult-Spiers entered the art scene in Sydney when he exhibited his semi abstracts with the “Contemporary Art Society”. From here he dipped in and out of the Sydney art scene, first as a student of art at East Sydney Technical College as part of the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, devised for returned soldiers, and operating from 1947 to 49.
By 1950 Ray Moult-Spiers was a foundation member of the City of Parramatta Art Society.
In 1953 he held a solo exhibition in the David Jones Gallery, Sydney, which was pre-announced with a full colour two-page spread written by Herbert Hull for the February edition of the popular “Australia Magazine” called “A.M.”. The press reviewers including James Gleeson defined his solo show of 52 works with terms like ‘Fantasy’.
In January 1956, Moult-Spiers left Australia for a work trial with Walt Disney as a Fantasy artist no less. He was away for a year, but because his wife was not permitted to stay in America, Moult-Spiers was back in Horsley Park by 1957 exhibiting with a group of five young contemporary artists in a show which was very much ‘anti-art school’ and in a Dadaist move exhibited at the CWA Rest Rooms, Fairfield.
Moult-Spiers won the 1961 “City of Parramatta Art Prize” with his painting titled “The Mourners” and in 1962 he won the “City of Parramatta Contemporary Art Prize”. Later in 1962 Moult-Spiers was on the executive for the “Australian Art Associates”, a nationwide organisation for modern painters, architects, sculptors, designers and creators in plastic arts.
In October 1964, Moult-Spiers and Collinridge Rivett held a two-man show at the Penthouse Gallery, Church Street, Parramatta. It was opened by the University of Sydney Archivist with proceeds going to the International House Appeal. The write up describes Moult-Spiers as being “recognised as one of Australia’s most creative and original contemporary painters.”
Raymond Moult-Spiers and his wife moved to Stradbroke Island in 1970, where his wife died suddenly in 1977. Raymond continued painting eventually becoming a recluse until his death in 1995. His last exhibition was on the Island in 1994. He is survived by two of his children to another relationship.


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