Saturday, September 1, 2007


On Three Trees 1994 73x54cm

Above is an acrylic painting on paper.
Bright colours and stylised scenery.
Black outlines and chunky shapes.
This is as close as I get to Mambo.

Not normally being satisfied with the art of
repeating myself, I did repeat myself.

Below is an acrylic painting on masonite.
Bright colours and stylised scenery.
Black outlines and chunky shapes.
This is as close as I get to Mambo.

Big Orange Tree 1995 136x104cm

The leaves are like clouds, but hanging like
marshmallows on the branches.
Especially like marshmallows that have
been heated in a campfire and begin to slip
down the dirty stick that was found
on the ground in the bush.

Also, the leaves are like birds sitting and watching
as you walk underneath.
Or like banksia cones blended with clouds
and hanging like gum leaves.

The branches are limbs strong and sure
against a symbolic blue sky.
The blue sky being a welcome symbol
through the bush as you clear your
way home.

I spent much of my childhood living on the
edge of an enormous abandoned nursery.
This nursery created by Nobelius was
at the time the largest in the
southern hemisphere. The nursery became
a national park, and until this day, has
a huge variety of trees and bushes.

As a kid, I lived for the bush, spending many
hours with my brothers, cousins and friends
investigating every secret area.

I think the enormous exposure I had as a kid
to the bush has impacted my work in some ways.
When looking at my own work I sometimes
have flashbacks to those glory days.
When we ran free with our mates and dogs and built
cubby huts and got up to all sorts of naughtiness.

I think, that as time goes on, my art will draw more and more,
from the experiences of the past, and create conduits
for the feelings and thoughts that I have today.

These paintings being strong in complimentary
colours work well with 3D glasses.
When Big Orange Tree was put on show,
I provided a pair of 3d glasses for the public to use.

This combination of bush, bright colours, and 3D glasses
has strong connections for me. It reminds me of
the Melbourne show, Luna park, Martin Sharpe, Mambo,
rural Victoria, the sixties and seventies, jeans, skivvies,
tie dyeing, flares, and long hair.

In the Bible the Israelites were told,
"Thou shall not make a graven image"
In this context the warning was against worshiping
an image or idol.
But, also it makes a strong point about the
power of created images and objects.


  1. RE "cubby huts"

    Why is it that building "huts", "club houses", and "forts" seems to a universal experience for young boys? I know one person who was so poor and his house was surrounded for miles by cotton fields, so there was no way to build a little house for himself, so he made little mud houses for the bull frogs.

    What exactly is a "cubby hut"?

  2. A cubby hut is a small hut made by kids to play in. We made ours from branches and leaves in the bush.
    I suppose cubby comes from cub, like bear cub. Also the scout's have the younger cubs, who on camps also made temporary bush dwellings.
    We were excited as kids to build small huts and play war games etc.
    But a lot of the fun was in designing the actual structure. My cousins built an underground hut on my grandfathers farm. This hut was famous and held in high esteem by all the younger cousins.
    I once built a three story hut, made of long straight logs.
    We would get one boy to climb to the top of these dead trees. Then the rest of us would shake the tree until it broke at the base. The trees were all about 3 inches in diameter and dead straight. There were dozens of these pole like trees in this one area, which were great to build with.
    I suppose kids build huts like men build houses or invent things.
    I suppose it's some form of having dominion over nature.

  3. As for your comment under my guest book -


    I'm assuming you have read HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (since you have been weighing in on the "worldview" discussions). What do you think about FAS's criticism of symbolic art in the Middle Ages and his praise of later art that is realistic?
    I'm trying to figure out how this fits with everything he says about emphasizing universals over particulars.

    I have owned HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? since the early eighties. Schaeffer was all the rage in my group of friends at art college.
    There is also a documentary and study guide that complement the book. One of my brothers stayed at l'abri in Switzerland for a short while. Modern Art and the Death of a Culture, by Rookmaker, was also very popular at that time as well.
    Sires book happens to be my current bedside book at the moment. Just reading it through again, for a bit of light reading.
    I will need to read HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? again to make a proper comment. But, I remember one particular well read artist at college who vowed at one stage to drop all abstract and symbolic work and only do realistic work. He was heavily into Schaeffer at that stage. I don't think the form of art work matters really. Although it usually is an extension of a belief system.
    The form or technique should be in unison or service to the content, and maybe can't be any other way.

    Schaeffer argues that particulars can never lead to absolute truth.
    Universals are about truth.
    In some way realistic paintings can be a bit devoid of universals, because they focus on naturalism.
    Symbolic paintings seem to be focusing on universals. The Hieronymus Bosch paintings seem to be jam packed with universals.
    I will have to read those sections again, as I think this could be argued in contradiction to what I have just said.
    Have you read,'In the Beginning was Information' by Werner Gitt?

  4. I have never read 'In the Beginning was Information'. What is it about?

    To me, what Schaeffer says about universals and particulars (and I still don't understand what he is saying--is he referring to Hume's "is-ought" objection to Natural Law?) does not mesh with what he says about art.

    Boy, your talk about huts brings back memories. We live on two different continents, yet we both did the same things as boys. It was militaistis for us as well, and we made undgerground forts as well. I never made a three story clubhouse--you got me beat on that one!


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