Month: July 2014

Charcoal Botanical II

Earlier I mentioned some small drawings of dead cacti that I made before trying the larger one.

These are all about A5 size and drawn using layers of charcoal and fixative, erasing to make lighter tones and adding touches of white pencil at the end to raise up points of light.

I tend to get lost in the details in tiny things: their texture, the folds and scars and craters. Drawing them close up they become like landscapes or creatures.

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Tentacular Spectacular!

I have been painting tentacle after tentacle in ink for another school assignment. We were given the word “Squid” as a starting point to create work during the break. Mainly I’ve used squid as a reference, but there are some octopuses too. I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Perhaps one giant tentacle, a couple of metres tall?

Cephalopods are such fascinating, alien, beautiful/hideous creatures. I’d really like to meet one.

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Here’s another project from school:

We were given a list of audio tracks without any explanation of their origin and asked to adapt them into a piece (drawing, painting, video – depending on our studio focus).

The audio I chose turned out to be  Eyelash Turned Inwards, by Max Eastley and David Toop.

Here’s the animation I made in response:

The animations repeat in a random order. It is quite jumpy in movement and in editing – time constraints! – but this didn’t matter as much when it was projected onto objects as I intended.

So, responding to that textural, creeping, alien, insectoid sound piece I created these creatures which I imagined moving through a void, whether deep beneath the ocean, underground or in outer space: somewhere dark. To make a setting for them to be observed I set up a little installation a bit like a cabinet of curiosities, or a study/laboratory which was installed in my studio corner where I displayed a collection of objects that related. Skulls, bones, tools, jars (just stuff I had lying around)

Just stuff

Just stuff

You know.

You know.

Household objects

Household objects

The animation was projected onto a stack of books, but I unfortunately didn’t photograph this. Due to a limited number of projectors and security issues with leaving expensive things lying around, the installations couldn’t be left running for long.


I just had to hope no one would steal my rabbit skull or my collection of dead leaves.



On the walls I set up the paper puppets that I used for the animation and added cryptic notations and diagrams. One important part of the audio for me was it’s mysteriousness, so I wanted to keep the diagrams unexplained, as if some knowledge had been lost.

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I loved the effect of video projected onto objects. I can imagine doing this on a huge scale, projecting onto library shelves and playing with the relationship between the surfaces and moving lines.


Cupboard Creatures

This animation was created for an installation assignment.  The idea was to create a piece of moving image that would be installed in one of a selection of locations around the school. The location for my work was inside a small wooden cupboard that seemed long disused.  I decided to tell the story of creatures made of mold and rubbish that lived in that forgotten space.


Charcoal Botanical

My first project at art school is a study of location. We visited the Melbourne Botanical Gardens to collect imagery around the Arid Garden. I paid a lot of attention to dead cacti and focused on the the detailed texture and folds in their shriveled, cast-off leaves:



After making some small drawings from the photos of dead cacti I was encouraged to try something at a larger scale. Way bigger than my comfort zone.  This piece is about 1.5 metres square: the biggest drawing I’ve ever tried. Everything in my studio corner was covered in a thin layer of charcoal dust.



Closeup detail photos:

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