Artist Statement

My work is a metaphorical laboratory which creates a life of infinite possibilities for the shadowed denizens of the subconscious and the imagined unknown.

Dispossession, exile and masculinity are forged in a postmodern rendering of the Australian outback. Faces and figures are central to the compositions, depicting a sense of physical and psychological detachment. Separate arms, faces, torsos, and limbs position themselves against dry, barren desert backgrounds. Faces twist into malevolent grins. The disconnected nature of the figures reflect an existential malaise inherent in the human condition… they are seeking escape, searching for a serenity that cannot be found in the chaos of everyday existence. These loners, mavericks, and outsiders are often hidden behind masks and morph into the landscape, universal symbols of the symbiosis between man and nature.

My surrogate children are created in acrylic paint, ink, pastel, charcoal, pencils and mixed media. The painted colours are bold, and reflect the intensity of the surreal vistas that are conjured up in my imagination. The stark colours embody the spiritual innocence of the central figures, players in a tableau where faces laugh and leer, transforming the darkness into a juxtaposition of tragedy and the absurd comedy of mundane life. They stand proudly in a pool of metaphysical slush on tap from twilight places, where imagination and the subconscious fight for front row seats.

The paintings are instinctive and spontaneous, layered and visually textured. As often as I use a brush or a palette knife, I use my fingers and hands to deepen and make broad textures that depict a visually barren outback topography. My drawings are more planned and conceptually driven, inspired by artists like Giger, Grosz and Escher. In these worlds, figures and faces are perverted and distorted, resembling a crooked amalgamation of disparate entities. The detailed cross hatching and stippling echo the layers of complexity in the human psyche.

My purpose is to explore uncharted inner terrain and to inspire myself and my viewers to walk toward their fears in order to understand and overcome them. I am influenced by the European surrealists, and by Australian modernists including Boyd, Tucker, and Nolan. Other influences are the wit and satire of Oscar Wilde and the dark emotional underbelly of Dostoyevsky. Musicians such as Nick Cave, Jim Morrison and Leonard Cohen appeal to my poetic sensibilities, and the magic of their words coexists with the visual images summoned by my subconscious.