I'm an artist (a painter mostly) and I live and work from my studio in Melbourne, Australia. I LOVE the long twilight of southern Australia in the Summer. I like eating my ice-cream partially melted, and I think baby chameleons are adorable.
I started painting full-time in 2004, and was coincidently about the time when an art market appeared on the internet. Although I had completed a bachelor degree in contemporary art a few years earlier, I wasn't ever expecting to have any success in the cut throat world of art that I had learned so much about. But I found myself unemployed, broke, and painting. And to my surprise and joy, there were these people on the other side of the internet that liked what I was making. I'm sure that if it were any other time in history I'd still be working in a bar (not that there's anything wrong with working in a bar! I loved it, and I often miss that life, but I have come to think that I'm better at pouring lacquers than liqueurs).
I've since toured the globe and taken on artist residencies in Japan, Thailand and Tasmania, and have exhibited in Australia and in Italy and NYC. I have work in the Presidential Suite of the Renaissance Plano in Texas, a large public commission in the courtyard of The Ritz Carlton in Puerto Rico, and I have also recently had the privilege of painting a large 10 piece public art commission for Ovation of the Sea, a Royal Caribbean liner.
If you are here for the first time, or back for more, hello to you *waving hello*. I hope you enjoy your time here. My aim by having this site is to connect and share with you all out there on the other side of the net, so feel free to write to me directly, or leave a comment on the blog. If you want to just buy stuff, go for it! I'm here if you have any questions. (Talk to me)
I think of my work as organic-psychedelia. They are familiar representations of ecology, but not quite of this world.
I’m drawn to the universality of patterns found in nature. From the micro to the macro, or the way a coral reef in northern Queensland harbours the same organic patterns as fungi in the alpine tundra in Tasmania. It results in an extrapolation of imaginings of what could lie beyond our knowledge, in interplanetary or inter-dimensional worlds, or the less frequently visited known worlds such as that of moss, fungi and entomology; places of bonsai-ed beauty that play with our scale perception, and evoke a sense of nostalgic fantasy.
My process is underpinned by a playful exploration of materials. The fluidity of paints are life-like, and my relationship with them is symbiotic. I often act merely as a facilitator to the materials’ natural ability to create chaotic and randomly beautiful effects. And with the further use of gravity and heat, I employ nature in an attempt to mimic nature. It’s a scientific process, executed organically, creating science fictional and psychedelic landscapes, and quasi-alien life.
2017 Public Commission, The Ritz Carlton, Puerto Rico; 2017 Commission for Renaissance Plan (Presidential Suite), Texas, USA; 2016 Public Commission for Ovation of the Sea, Royal Caribbean Liners; 2016 Finalist Bluethumb Art Prize; 2016 Finalist Noosa Art Prize, Noosa, Australia; 2016 'Gelato' Traffic Jam Gallery, Sydney; 2015 Japan, Kyoto residency with Master Ukiyo-e, 2015 'Plasmo' (solo) GallerySmith Project Space, Melbourne; 2014 Premio Compat Prize Finalist, Livorno, Italy; 2014 'Premio Combat' Museo Di Storia Naturale & Museo Civico G.Fattori, Livorno, Italy 2014 'Hypnagogia' Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park, Melbourne; 2014 'The Comfort Zone' Midsumma Festival, Gasworks, Melbourne; 2013 RAW Translations, Melbourne; 2013 Saatchi Online Finalist 'Back to Nature’; 2012 'Art Takes Time Square', New York City; 2012 Clifton's Art Prize Finalist; 2012 ‘Rickshaw madam?’ Graydon Gallery, New Farm, Brisbane; 2012 Residency ComPeung Artist Village, Doi Saket, Thailand; 2011 Highly Commended, Gainsborough Greens, Gold Coast; 2011 ‘Garden Variety’ Percolator Gallery, Paddington, Brisbane; 2010Artist in Residence, December, Borders, Brisbane City.
What inspires you?
Nature, science, other art, literature, other worlds, fantasy and dreams, experimentation and the act of painting itself.
When did you start? How did you start?
I started painting for real, as in that’s what I did every day, in 2002 after finding myself unemployed and feeling pretty much unemployable. Although I had finished a degree in visual arts some years earlier, I didn't really believe there was a career in it, but then I saw a few people selling their art online and thought I'd try much luck. I feel incredibly fortunate to be around at the birth of online art. It was a new idea, to sell art without gallery representation, and for buyers to make art purchases without first seeing it in the flesh. I’m immensely grateful for the support I received from complete strangers worldwide in those early days. Somehow I managed to scrape by with enough funds to purchase enough art supplies to continue, and over the next few years I was able to hone my craft in a way I’d never have had the opportunity to if I had to work a day job.
How different is the art world now due to the emergence of online galleries and self-representation?
Artists no longer need to align themselves with a gallery to be seen or heard, however the gallery still plays an important roll. Historically they have been the mediator between artist and public - translator even - and they are very good at that, so their services are just as valuable now to artists and to buyers. The difference now is universal to artists and galleries; that being the market is global, so both artists and galleries need to be proactive online. Personally, I choose to both represent myself via online means, as well as show in online galleries and "bricks and mortar" galleries.
Do you work in a studio?
Yes. I have worked under houses, in garages, above shops in cities, in a mud hut in Thailand, a wooden barn in rural Tasmania, and currently I am residing and working in inner Melbourne. The space you work in can dictate so much - not only your mood, but in the problems you have to solve due to climate and the physical space etc. Also, small differences like in the camber of the floor, can make for some happy accidents. Work can evolve in unexpected ways by a simple change of environment.
How do you know when a work is finished?
There was a photo/image circling Facebook some time ago about the stages of creativity.. went something like this:
The Creative Process
1. This is awesome
2. This is tricky
3. This is sh*t
4. I am sh*t
5. This might be okay
6. This is awesome
I can totally relate. Every piece has it's own personal struggle, or set of problems that needs to be solved before a painting is 'resolved'. You know when it's finished (or when it's resolved) when those problems are sorted, and can't see any further problems.
Why do you make art?
A desire to connect with people via something visual or beautiful, and to create new worlds to get lost in. A quote that makes me laugh at it's accuracy:
Is there something in your studio you can’t work without?
Spray mister of water.
What advice would you give to budding artists?
Hmmm.. well mostly I'd tell them the things I have to continue to remind myself. Like: celebrate your successes, don’t sweat the failures because they're rarely about you. Secondly, I'd say work hard. Put in the hours. Learn from other artists' work but find your own process, and follow your own path. Your style and path will only come from many many continuous studio hours. Here is a great quote too for beginning artists:
Also, make friends with the radio. You will be spending long hours in your own company or the company of your radio. I listen to a lot of podcasts.. I recommend This American Life and RadioLab. Experiment. Waste paint. Stay out of debt… you don’t want that pressure.
Do you take hallucinogens?
Not anymore…. I’d never get any work done :)