Coming to an Understanding
This early painting “Coming to an Understanding” was exhibited as part of the Graduate Degree Show at Curtin University in 1987.
The subject matter of this image is a human form apparently reintegrating with the Universe. The arms and upper torso reach up only to become Clouds and Sky whilst the thighs and lower legs are becoming Earth. It is quite thickly painted with a lot of experimental overlaying. The lower section, for example, used prints taken off vine leaves as I grappled with new ways to represent my ideas in Oil paint...
‘Dive’ comes from the “Illusion of Separateness” series, which discuss human stewardship of the natural world.
This group of works were principally inspired by portions of two books.
The first is “The Dancing Wu Li Masters” by Gary Zukav, which deals interestingly with the relationship between quantum physics and spirituality, and alternative ways to view the natural world.
The second was a novel by Russell Hoban entitled “Riddley Walker”, which details a kind of pagan idea of connectedness, despite being a fiction set in a distant, post apocalyptic future.
In this image the symbolic depictions of earth and air are disassembled and appear to mix and revel in their same-ness. A figure assists in the process, being constructed of abstracted cloud matter, by diving through the rich soil.
This work, originating from notebooks and visual diaries, represents a rather playful visual discussion of academic research.
Harry Dean-Stanton's Cadillac
The image for Harry Dean Stanton's Cadillac is very serious whimsy. It was made during the preparation of a large showing and is a kind of instruction about just letting go...to be inside what it is that you are doing and remain unapologetic. The vehicle is traveling down a bitumen road through salt lake country under a hot hot sky.
Harry Dean Stanton is a great actor, most especially for his role in “Paris, Texas” by the director Wim Wenders. I was so impressed by the way he was able to occupy a dry character so completely and to discuss very complex issues with barely a word of dialogue that I gave him this car to ride
This is a drawing for a movie storyboard. It is a desert scene in Tunisia where the main character is buried up to the neckline in the sand. It is a long shot and the sun beats down for hours. The drips of sweat make rivulets in the powdery white clay caked on his bald head.
There is a dialogue between the director and the actor, who is furious about the treatment he is enduring for the sake of the image. The director is encouraging the actor.
I was thinking about mortality and the things that bring you to your knees
This image is about water and air as closely related fluids that we travel through. The study was made following repeated observances of dawn light across calm open oceans somewhere out East of Indonesia. I worked a sailors passage on the 'dog shift' whilst aboard the Research Vessel Heraclitus for three months.
I made it to celebrate realising that the greatest disturbance is usually that caused by our own passage.
One of the really great things about a solitary travel is that there is little need for negotiation, except of the path forward.
Coming down these mountains in Korea the world suddenly struck me as quite an arranged space. First and most obviously in the case of the flood irrigation pattern of the rice fields, but as I looked closer even the light falling upon the water, the arrangement of branches, the descent of colours, all of the elements in that Universe.
I paused and made this sketch in pencils and watercolours. It came together in an easy and natural way as a small celebration of logic and that passage.
At the simplest level this image uses two objects affixed to a deliberately earthen surface to draw attention to the tools and craftsmanship that many artists use.
Map To Aurelien's House
Kids have a marvellously quirky and honest way of looking at things.
I love to draw alongside them and to take lessons from that honest suggestibility and lack of concern for approval. I made portraits of and with Aurelian and we traded them despite my early and rudimentary French. In one of many hilarious drawing sessions together we made this map so that I would always be able to return to find him again.