Posted on July 27, 2014
It seems an unlikely combination, taking my eldest 2 kids out for a bike adventure on a sunny Sunday, packed with water bottles, stencil, paste-up, and enough art materials to get the job done.
When I lived in the bush, I took a bike out across sheep paddocks to reach far off woodlands. Drawing board over my shoulder art materials in a backpack – oh and an appropriate beverage of a reasonable vintage. I had my share of spills. On one occasion I was screaming down hill at dusk, scattering the heard and sending cockatoos screeching off into high perches – meeting head on the dank cool air that settles in the low lands and soaks right into the dewy greens. I hit a rock, or sheep bones obscured by a tuft of wallaby grass and flew over the handlebars like some over sized cocky in a trench coat. I walked the bike home the rest of the way that evening, and was extra thankful the alcohol dulled the pain.
But the real object of todays journey was finding a tall playground tower we spied from across Ginninderra Creek in the Umbagong Districk Park last weekend. It didn’t disappoint and we dubbed it “Rocket Tower Playground” – a good place to play tips.
Posted on July 26, 2014
The United Nations guidelines on the detention of asylum seekers make it clear that children, protected by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, should not be placed in detention for any length of time. The experience of detention may mimic the experience of human rights abuses, persecution and terror. Detention is highly traumatising for children who are less able to understand explanations as to the reason they have been detained.
Posted on July 26, 2014
Blank walls. They are everywhere. Hospital green, tomb stone grey, white wash smooth, clinical duck egg blue. I’ve always noticed them, or at least imagined how to subvert their silence. The blank page, the blank canvas and the blank wall are not at all dissimilar, they beg for creative interference.
A tag in silver over painted my last bird. A rough job possibly interrupted half way, or by the hand of a beginner. My paste-up was still visible in a textural manner – would have a made a nice shot, but the wall was over painted again, this time with no colour grey, ready for its next makeover.
I’ve been waiting for the right night to begin again. But 5 minutes down the road I was engulfed in an ominous fog that reduced visibility to 5 metres. That feeling of really just wanting to curl up under a doona began to eat at my resolve, but I persisted, and the expedition was as smooth as alabaster. A mask for when I go beyond myself.
Posted on July 20, 2014
“I chose Australia because I thought it was a country that cares about human rights”
Posted on July 11, 2014
Night after night, absorbing the news, one politician proclaiming indignation over the oppositions antics, watching the latest “move to the right” over asylum seeker policy, and feeling exasperated that my sense of social justice is again being offended by the elected governments rhetoric and fervent desire to punish people arriving by boat in the name of boarder security. I don’t want to be someone remonstrating on the couch. I don’t know what it is like to be a refugee. I’ve never had to flee for my life, to leave my homeland and all that I hold dear. I can read stories, and I can reflect on the divergent arguments that pervade our media. What good is art in the face of such human suffering? I quote here from a passionate defence mounted by my wife Catherine Jean-Krista in the face of such criticism –
“That sublime, profound transcendental thing…. or that great, satirical, biting and devastatingly insightful portrayal….. or that beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, emotion-inducing or soothing vision…. or that all encompassing installation style experience which places you in another’s shoes…. that culturally resonant, tradition-invoking form…. or that empathic link created through the sudden illumination of another perspective…. that temporal and ephemeral created moment…. or that eternally resonant phrase… or that medium that communicates across language barriers…. Art.”
Posted on June 11, 2014
“Boat People” 2013 Spray Enamel and Gouache on paper 46 x 60 cm
An image from my Boat People series which has been selected as a finalist in this years Cliftons Art Prize for the Canberra region. These pictures are derived from images and attitudes in the Australian media on the topic of Boat People. I am interested in the general public discourse surrounding the treatment and processing of asylum seekers and seek to elucidate a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice, hope and misery of the refugee. I work with a variety of traditional mediums, ranging from acrylic, oil and gouache to stencils and pasted-up street art.