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1. Introduction

2. Vault

3. Hatch

4. Eye Bloom

5. Bodily Forms

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2.14 - Painting 2011
2.03 - Deliverance

Out of Our Heads - Vault

Periods of time are inevitably spent in the studio without a clear view of what will present itself next—where a lack of inspiration creates a dismal outlook upon the empty, dormant space that confronts the artist.

In times spent staring vacantly at bare surfaces on the workshop walls, I began drawing that act of looking, as if I were a conscious ghost locked within a tomb. Hence, a lack of inspiration became inspiration for the subject of new work.


Small and large paintings and drawings described the flat two-dimensional surfaces of the expectant picture-planes and walls about me. Blank surfaces were depicted with theatrical consideration, as if they were partitions or facades—a skin between my reality and a realm on the ‘other side’.


I presented the entering of a body of work as a physical immersion into the domain behind the flat surface. This type of action might be considered an extreme way of overcoming the doldrums of procrastination!


I imagined the inscribing of marks upon a surface as ‘touching something back’, communicating to a life force that resided behind a door. This notion had been explored in previous works, such as Dealing the Death of Me and The Final Bloom of the Ice Rose.


I depicted interdimensional beings to represent the idea of 'the responsive touch'—the inspiration received when drawing upon a surface. In 'Embrace the Dark' (152x96cm below right), I simplified this engagement between two realms in a large work incorporating woodcuts, paint and drawn marks.

In another series I situated an interior view of my own head within the tomb-like space of my studio, with indication of openings into the external imagined world that exists beyond. I created ambiguities between the workshop in my head and my head within the workshop.


 The structure of the facial forms that appear in many of these images came from observations of my own head in a mirror. They are monoprints, produced by tracing outlines of my reflection onto the mirror, then directly transferring those wet marks onto another surface. The monoprint marks were a way of 'picking up' my reflection as if it were an apparition that could be made solid.


The mirror I used for the monoprint marks was the size of a face, but the heads appear reduced in size because of the distance between the mirror and me. The length of my arm determined the reduction in size.

This relates to The Transmigratory Passage of the Death Wish, in which the noble soul describes this same reach of the arm as a journey of mythic proportions. Hence, the interdimensional being I perceived to exist within the flat two-dimensional surface became an internalised reflection of myself.

Other images incorporated this interior head view with a more overt reference to a theatrical space; a secret chamber in which a type of ceremonial induction is performed.




The images below describe the disembodied imaginative force within the head and the longing for physical action to manifest itself beyond that state.


Explore this theme

1. Introduction

2. Vault (You Are Here)

3. Hatch

4. Eye Bloom

5. Bodily Forms