Watch Your Back Sweets
I completed this image in 2005. I was really interested in depicting levels and inner workings, particularly with the marks made with charcoal to represent the shadow beneath the tree. I wanted to indicate the physicality of producing images and to make clear reference to the history of layers I use, but also balance that within a recognizable landscape...
These childlike drawings of sun-bleached skulls are a playful allegory placed on an abstraction of the Australian desert landscape.
This is a painting from in between times.
I took some work in my brothers’ market garden in Gingin, Western Australia.
You can see the lush melons and the watery treatment of flickering sprinklers. Across on the hill opposite you can see the bare fed out, (and up), hills resulting from overstocking, – hence the title...
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The Road Out
Some friendships are harder to keep than others.
[Relates as an image to Returning and Ross’ Field]
North Towards Canarvon
Theres a kind of 'distant shimmering-ness' that crossing out to the back country offers to the eye.
This smaller work started as a sketch that captured the knolls in a pleasing and slightly mysterious way, and then demanded adjustment in size and format to contain the sense of distance I wanted to convey.
It was a kind of a breakthrough and relates thematically to other images such as “A Kind of Rescue,” and “Passenger,” and even “Disappearance.”
Driving out along the isolated East coast of the Dampier Peninsula near Derby a dingo suddenly crossed in front of us with a glare that said, “Who are you to cross this sacred country?”...
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Whilst making images in the field it is a natural part of the process to be subjected to the elements.
It follows that some images will come to focus on those elements themselves, for example, how energy is being transmitted across time from one place to another as heat or dust or wind, and what this does to leave evidence, such as shaping clouds or tangling the perception in air.
Kokebin (My Mother's Country)
Kokebin Rock is located in the Wheatbelt farming country between Kellerberrin and Quairading in the district where my mother was born. These days the country suffers from that Western Australian cliché of salt damage resulting from the deforestation to produce grain. Nevertheless there are spectacular views to be had from a high vantage out to the limit of sight and the curvature of the Earth. Visually it is a great place to learn about what can happen to light....
It seems to me that one of the core elements of Australian Landscape is the notion of 'dissapearance'.
The country makes it abundantly clear that one may be literally swallowed up and hence the ego is blasted back by the power of this lands' enduring adamance...
interferenceThis is one of several images I made of the same place. Sometimes it seems you are chasing after something that is completely elusive, or that you are prevented from being able to reach through all the interference.
This image is one of several made as the result of a period of intense drawing near Bridgetown and some heartfelt consideration of an essay about “The Role of I,” which speaks about changing opinions concerning “our own self image as impotent bystander,” (one who sees but does not effect.)...
My adopted uncle is a guy named Vince. He is a ‘black fella’ from the Bardi tribe in the Kimberley Region. While I was there he became a guardian...
Just like with a cryptic crossword a series of meanings or clues are placed together. The meanings are not in words but rather marks, techniques, approaches or ways of doing things...
HOW TO BE INVISIBLE
This image refers back toward the land and township of Manyana, South of Sydney, in Australia.
I made drawings from the boat of the sight lines to the landmarks we were using as local knowledge to locate good fishing grounds...
cultivation (AKA Disappearance)
These are my Brother Gary’s drawings on the landscape.
He was turning the soil ready for the new season. The bleached fallow grasses disappeared beneath the soil behind the plough, generating a rich earthy smell and creating a contour sketch that I can’t hope to rival.
Coming from a farming family It is common to view the landscape with some assessment of the indicators that are evidence for that land's capacity for production. In the case of this hillside in Wanneroo, at the North Western edge of Perth City, I was initially drawn to the rusty patchwork colours of the long tin shed in the market garden area of the foreground...
This painting was a huge visual breakthrough for me in terms of new mark making to represent ideas and ways of seeing things. Depicting wind and heat energy flowing across landscape and in the air between the eye of the viewer and that landscape was the intention. I got very excited as the image came together and those textures I was making began to speak back to me as I was 'in' that making...
This is a small preparatory study made by the light of the full moon and looking down to the beach at Kooljaman at Cape Leveque.
There are some bigger related images which use the simplification of shapes provided by that lower light spectrum – when we can only see the details as dark shapes it becomes easier to perceive and capture the ‘flow’ of the overall setting.
Evening at wolfgangEvening At Wolfgangs
(Notes from visual diary)
Grey Bassendean sand firebreak has Rowenas’ secret garden and lawns in foreground, back to summer grass and scrub. Dead trees (destroyed by camels) reach into twilight sky and grey oncoming clouds. – signed ‘A’
This is one of the ‘out-takes’ from the painting called Rivermouth.
There is a depiction of a world looking out toward the ocean. Closer inspection also reveals the bottom left of the work ending to expose a hand patting a small dog, [The fox terrier ‘Chloe’], so we see that there is more going on than simple representation.
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Deleting information and overlaying is an integral part of my process. This image started as we see here only to end up as a cropped and simplified version, but never did find its’ intended owner.
Sadly, I eventually destroyed the final image, I am pretty sure it ended up as landfill somewhere around Melbourne, Australia.
The original image was 900mm wide x 1700mm high. On the reverse side there was the text “…patience – Someday I will love you.”
In retrospect the format and treatment proved important for later re-workings of the image from the drawn studies. I can also give that distant young man credit for some of the marks interpreting the landscape that informed later works too. The inspiration came from long hours of tractor work in Ross’s fields and the title refers to the idea of eventually returning to farm work as a relevant way of making ones’ living, despite the irresistible call of curiosity concerning the greater world
looking for shifty
I made this smaller study out on the tidal flats of the Buccaneer Archipelago, North of Broome.
I wanted to create a sense of distance and fluidity in a wider format.
If you’ve come this far, here is an example of writing taken from my notes at the time, given that I see writing and painting as exactly the same thing.
From – Come and find me (last stanza) [Funeral Notes]
I’ve left this map out for you to follow
…so you can take me there,
…take the means from my old valise,
and scatter me in the air.