Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Library late fees.

Studio work ground to a halt today. 
I have an overdue library book. 
I tried to renew it, but couldn't.
The book is so trashy I can't bear to tell you the title.
I gave the ninja monkey the Ipad and some junk food.
I climbed into bed and finished reading the book.

Not a bad day's work.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Somewhere over the rainbow

So I am working hard on my Forest of Poly Ethylene but also working with Fiona Arnold again on the Yes Garden at Addison Road Community Centre. 

In Australia we have yet to achieve marriage equality. It is a sad state of affairs. Conservative politicians have abrogated responsibility for representing the electorate and we are faced with the farce that is the non-binding Marriage Equality postal survey. 

Many members of the LGBTQI community have expressed fear and anxiety as the public debate has given some homophobes a platform to express their bile.

And so, the Yes Garden  is dedicated to creating a positive creative space to express support for the Yes vote in the upcoming Australian Marriage Equality survey.

The Yes Garden is evolving each week. It reflects the cultural diversity of the Addison Road Centre.

Last week we ran a workshop for people to make Yes signs. It was a pleasure to talk to families, couples, individuals and friends.

The Yes Garden will continue to grow over the next few months.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Turnbull gets a spine

Last week, I had the opportunity to collaborate again with fellow artist Fiona Arnold. Fiona was asked to create a sculpture on behalf of Reverse Garbage for James Brechney of DIY Rainbow. Specifically, James asked for a spine for Australian Prime Minister Turnbull.  Fiona asked me to come on board to help create the spine.

The finished spine. Aug 2017

The constant struggle to just "let it go".  

Artists communicate through their art and through their practice. Once a piece is completed and exhibited it is up to the viewer to interpret meaning.  The viewer may see something or feel something the artist did not intend.  

When completing a commission or selling a work the artist may discuss how the work will be presented, however, the commissioner or buyer will ultimately make such decisions for themselves.  

In the case of "the Spine" we the artists were acting on behalf of an organisation and the intention of the commissioner was clear. The work was being used as a prop. This said it is not a simple matter for an artist. "The Spine" was developed and created like any collaborative art work. Lots of discussion about message, materials, and aesthetics.  "The Spine" was created for a pro-marriage equality event; a civil rights issue we are both passionate about.  The turn around time was very fast.  

The above factors coupled with some media attention created a very intense experience. Fiona was brilliant as always and spoke beautifully about the work and the issue of LGBTQI civil rights.  James Brechney was absolutely wonderful.  Sensing our angst about the work and further adornment of the piece James took "The Spine" to the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville for a little glitz and glam and a send off to Canberra. Curbing the enthusiasm and impulse to over adorn and bedazzle, James and the patrons of the Imperial showed more respect for Malcolm Turnbull's new spine than the Prime Minister appears to be showing the Australian public.

While "The Spine" was starting its journey Fiona and I were debriefing and decompressing.  Four days later we sat in a garden with a coffee and I showed Fiona footage from the Facebook page of DIY Rainbow.  James Brechney is a social media gem. He has chronicled the journey of "The Spine" brilliantly. So Fiona and I laughed a lot and cried a little and began thinking about where to next. 

Stay tuned for our next collaboration.

Please enjoy the following footage courtesy of James Brechney and DIY Rainbow

Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Forest of Poly Ethylene

So the prototype for the first tree in the Forest of Poly Ethylene is finished.  I managed to destroy one heat gun in the process but I have learned a lot about melting and moulding HDPE.

I have had a good supply of milk bottles from my local cafe  Kelby's Cafe.  Thankfully we are big coffee drinkers here in Marrickville so there is a steady supply of empty bottles.

140cm high, 80cm diameter.

140cm high, 80cm diameter.

140cm high, 80cm diameter.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Getting on with it.

So this month has been a doozy. My entire household has been sick. This always sets me back. Deadlines become stressful. It is the nature of the beast. The Ninja Monkey always comes first but some compromises are harder to take than others.  This week I missed a submission deadline by about 20 minutes as the boy was sick and I had to pick him up from school in the middle of the day.  

So I sulked for a day then got back into it.  This is another work in progress. 

The forest of Polyethylene

Friday, 16 June 2017


This week I had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow artist Fiona Arnold on a site specific temporary installation.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Cooks River catchment, together with other Aboriginal people who have made it their home.

The work was commissioned by the Cooks River Alliance on the occasion of the Cooks River Culture and Country celebration.

The event celebrated Aboriginal communities’ stories, histories, traditional knowledge and associations with the Cooks River. Guest speakers shared their knowledge of  new and comprehensive Aboriginal history of the Cooks River. There was an oral history exhibition featuring local contemporary Aboriginal people along the river.  Participants explored the traditional life of the Cooks River in 1770 via virtual simulation. In addition, there were musical performances, bush tucker food, and a walking tour.

 The 200 metre long installation ran through the Addison Rd Community Centre. It crossed a carpark, footpaths and an access road. It revealed the old freshwater creek that ran through the site.

Big Thanks to Reverse Garbage for donating the material.

To all the crew at Addison Road Community Centre. Your tireless support is much appreciated.

Thank you to The Cooks River Alliance for commissioning this work and congratulations on a successful event

The Cooks River Alliance is a partnership between five councils in the Cooks River catchment – Bayside Council, City of Canterbury-Bankstown, City of Sydney, Inner West Council and Strathfield Council. Alliance activities include: engaging with people living and working in the Cooks River Catchment, monitoring water quality, seeking funding, managing the construction of on-ground works, and advocating and lobbying for legislative amendments to help improve the health of the catchment.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Musica Viva Family Day 21 April 2017

On Friday 21 April 2017 I had the good fortune of running a Paint a Piano session for Reverse Garbage at the Musica Viva Festival Family Day. It was located at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The Musica Viva staff and volunteers were a joy to work with and the Conservatorium Staff were wonderful.

Preparation at  Themes and Variations with Ara and Nyree Vartoukian and a team of Musica Viva volunteers.

As is often the case when working with children all design concepts went out the window as they embraced the activity.

At the end of the day when all the kids were tucked up in bed  Ara Vartoukian from Themes and Variations sneaks in for a quick play on the pianos.