oil on linen
I paint what would be considered traditional Western subject
matter – portraiture, landscape and still-life – reinterpreted
through the lens of Eastern philosophy.
While my paintings appear representational, it isn’t my intention
to give an inventory of the material world, but rather to examine
the riddles at the core of experience.
Can’t describe it, can’t paint it,
Needn’t praise or grasp it;
There’s no place to hide your original face,
When the world ends, this still remains.
Rosella Wing Study
coloured pencil drawing
The work is a collection of studies of various birds, plants and other living creatures. The images try to deal with the beauty and fragility of the natural world, the world that surrounds us daily, the world that is so easily overlooked in modern society. With an aim to capture many of the subtle and delicate qualities found in the living world and through an intense dedication to the subject I hope to inspire the modern viewer to invest themselves a little more in the wonder of nature.
The pleasure does not lie just in the creation of the physical work but in the experience of the subject and the budding curiosity that stems from an intense artistic dialogue. The beauty of this kind of picture making, apart from its scientific benefits and context, lies in the images ability to consolidate curiosity and experience into a single physical creation.
Detail of line is very important in the work and through this I hope to allude to the fantastic, unobtainable, infinite detail of nature. Strokes and marks are developed to directly correspond to a feature or texture of the subject trying to be represented. Once a suitable mark is found for a particular feature the mark is effectively machined over a skeletal framework to create the visible shell of the subject.
The work is a mixture of both drawing and etching. Printmaking and the etched line strongly allude to naturalism and a past age of discovery. The linear aspect of the majority of images generally dominates over their colour, helping to place the pictures more in an academic rather than emotional context. Placing the pictures in an almost historical context is an important feature of the work, alluding to a romantic age where human kind was just a piece of the puzzle and the world seemed fuller of wonder.
My work deals with time. It is work about a mood, a song I have heard, sometimes I place I’ve never been. It is work that deals with the dark melancholy of the Blues and of the Australian non-identity. The constructions I have made are quite formal compositions that relate to landscape. I am dealing with themes of the past, Americana, Australiana, post-war subcultures and the idea of lost time and place.
When the work is amassed in installation format it has a different power, the works sing to each other as if not to be split up. Some of the work has enough strength to stand alone and others feed off other pieces tonally or physically with over lapping forms and groupings.
All the types of objects I have collected have a certain feel about them, my methodology is sometimes random in the construction process but in the end they all seem to hold a lot of the same materials. Bones, rusted tin, rotten wood and nails all become recurring elements in the work.
I feel that I work within the traditions of artists such as Edward Kienholz or Robert Rauschenberg, using the found object to create a new form, to give new life to the discarded. Using the detritus of modern life to create something new and beautiful.
Box Seats at the Big Event
oil on canvas
I blend the figurative with the abstract. My current fixations seem to be the
Australian landscape and sheep. The apparent simplicity of the subject matter
belies vulnerability, expression, strength, boldness and independence. There’s a
reaching for singularity in my work, in the solitary sheep, and in the landscapes
that invoke a country at once alien and intensely familiar.
Dolly the genetically modified sheep is a significant inspiration, along with the
associated ideas that she brings. The cloning aspect of Dolly presents Man as
The sheep portraits express my view of their uniqueness and their ineffable
The process I use in my painting is quite antagonistic: I begin by traumatising the
canvas into a state, a flux, and from there pacify my landscapes and sheep into a
condition of mutual agreement, quelled with a deep love.
I grew up in the country and apparently you can’t take the country out of the girl.
My inspiration draws from Bessie Smith, Hoagy Carmichael, abstract nouns, and,
inter alia, the magnificence of it all. A sense of general levity both in subject and
technique is integral to my work.