UNCERTAIN JOURNEYS

Exhibition Invitation

Today was bump in for my exhibition “Uncertain Journeys”.

The image of the boat has been a recurring theme in my painting for three years. Imagining the claustrophobic hull – the hell of uncertainty. The forced migration of people is a defining aspect of the times and the “illegal” journey to Australia by boat is now part of our modern mythology.

I worked night shift with a young man who made such a journey in 2001. Although only 8 years old at the time, he vividly described three nights jammed in with asylum seekers from a variety of countries, sharing the same goal and the same fear in the wilderness of hours huddled together clutching make shift weapons. They had little idea where they were headed, but anywhere was better than the danger and persecution they faced at home.

We have been bombarded with images and discussion in the media regarding the plight of refuges seeking asylum. This reflects upon our collective character as a nation, and resides in our hearts and minds, either to solidify prejudice or to create a powerful sense of injustice.

These pictures have grown out of this turbulence, my perspective – sensitive to the issues, and reflective about the discussion and consequences of government policy.

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2. “Night Wishes” 2014 70.5 x 50.5 cm Oil and enamel on board

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3. DETERANCE NOT PROTECTION 2015 27 X 33 CM Enamel and graphite on paper

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4. “A CERTAIN MARITIME INCIDENT” 2016 120 x 98.5 cm Acrylic on Linen

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5. “ON THE HULL” 2015 25 x 34 cm Gouache on paper

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6. “RISK THE SEAS” 2015 39 x 49 cm Oil on board

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7. “HOPE PEOPLE NOT BOAT PEOPLE” 2015 24 x 29 cm Gouache on paper

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8. “SIEV 221 OFF CHRISTMAS ISLAND” (each 46 x 60 cm)          oil on board

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9. “RAFT ADRIFT No.1” 2015 36 X 24 CM Gouache on paper

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10. “LIVES IN LIMBO” 2015 78 x 37 cm Gouache and enamel on paper

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11. “RALLY FOR REFUGEES No.1” 45.5 x 60 cm Enamel on board

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12. “RALLY FOR REFUGEES No.2” 2015 40 x 50 cm Acrylic on board

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13. “THE BURNING OF SIEV 36” 2016 36 x 47 cm Oil on paper

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14. “THE DROWNED” 2016 76 x 48 cm Gouache and enamel on paper

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15. “BEHIND THE WIRE” 2014 57.5 x 74 cm Enamel on board

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16. “TRANSFEREES” 2014 52 X 47 CM Enamel on paper

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17. “VOYAGE No.1” 2014 98 x 138 cm Acrylic on board

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18. “VOYAGE No.2” 2015 39 x 62 cm Gouache and enamel on paper

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19. “WE HIDE OUR SHAME IN THE WITHHELD NAMES” 2014 48 X 63 cm Enamel on paper

THE SURVIVERS

20. “THE SURVIVORS” 2015 52 X 64 CM Gouache on paper

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21. “IN THE HULL” 2015 46.5 X 48 CM Gouache on board

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22. “AGAINST THE WAVES ” 2015 45 x 29 cm Gouache on paper

The Queue

23. “THERE IS NO QUEUE WHEN YOU RUN FOR YOUR LIFE” 2015 64 x 50 cm Ink, pastel and gouache on paper

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24. “MEMORY OF THE GUN” 2015 38 x 31 cm Gouache and ink on paper

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25. “NATIONAL INTEREST” 2016 78 x 38 cm Gouache and enamel on paper

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26. “UNCERTAIN JOURNEYS” 2014 79.5 x 54 cm Gouache and enamel on board

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27. “DETENTION” 2014 50 x 63 cm Enamel on board

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28. “YOU WON’T BE SETTLED IN AUSTRALIA” 2014 78 x 52 cm Gouache and enamel on paper

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29. “RAFT ADRIFT No.2” 2016 37 X 48 CM Gouache on paper

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30. “ON THE WIRE” 2015 61 x 46 cm enamel on board

The Family

"The Family" 2015 Gouache on paper

“The Family” 2015 Gouache on paper

In recent months I have concentrated on a series of works on paper on the theme of a family group. This is a theme that has been explored by many artists and I am particularly drawn to the images of Henry Moore during his “bomb shelter” era. I used my own family as a reference, assembling them to make a tableaux then expanding on basic this configuration to explore distortion and other structural variations.

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M2C 3

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Most of these works began as a simple monotype line drawing, and were taken in different directions using gouache, ink and pastel.

More Garden Images

"Cat in the grass" 2015 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 65 cm

“Cat in the grass” 2015 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 65 cm

Even in the minute wilderness in the corner of a modest backyard, there is a certain adventure to be had. Finding creatures that wiggle and squirm under a rock, sticks; stones and dirt that mimic an avalanche; leaves and vines that could be the terrain of a strange new world. A child’s garden is a place where imagination takes refuge, where games find a stage, and where time is strangled by inextricable creepers.

"Child's Garden" 2015 64 x 70cm

“Child’s Garden” 2015 64 x 70cm

"Child's Garden" Mixed media on paper 64 x 70 cm

“Child’s Garden” Mixed media on paper 64 x 70 cm

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A New Flower

A New Flower

A New Flower

There is some strange hope that gets stirred up, with the promise of success. Success to the stranger and for those over familiar – a new flower.

"Figure Composition" Jan 2015 Gouache

“Figure Composition” Jan 2015 Gouache

A Child’s Garden

"A Child's Garden" 2015 Acrylic and enamel on canvas 122 x 180 cm

“A Child’s Garden” 2015 Acrylic and enamel on canvas 122 x 180 cm

First completed painting for the year. A Christmas project…largely painted on the back veranda shifted from shady spot to shady spot. Still ended up with a sunburnt neck!

Displaced

"Displaced 1" 2014 Acrylic and spray enamel on paper 60 x 50 cm

“Displaced 1” 2014 Acrylic and spray enamel on paper 60 x 50 cm

I like to work the surface before using the stencil. It gives the finished work a more painterly quality.

The Survivors

"The Survivors" 2014 Gouache on paper 53 x 65 cm

“The Survivors” 2014 Gouache on paper 53 x 65 cm

It would have been good to put together this exhibition, but it is time to move on now. Thinking about a broader canvas, a “Duty of Care” series that could incorporate recent themes as well as those images still to come. Of course I imagine large monolithic works, gallery pieces that will never see the inside of a gallery. However first I must make space in the garage, a depressing exercise that fills me with dread!

"The Voyage" 2014 Gouache on paper. 60 x 84cm.

“The Voyage” 2014 Gouache on paper. 60 x 84cm.

I’ve worked mostly on paper this year. A size that can be worked on my lap in the lounge room. “The Voyage” was finished last night, and is the last of these pictures.

"Family" 2014 Acrylic and spray enamel on paper 45 x 45 cm

“Family” 2014 Acrylic and spray enamel on paper 45 x 45 cm

"A new death" 2014 Acrylic on paper 60 x 50 cm

“A new death” 2014 Acrylic on paper 60 x 50 cm