In August 2019 I concluded my PhD with a major solo exhibition called Mosaicism: Thinking in Mosaic, held at Lot19 Gallery in Castlemaine, Victoria. The culmination of four years of research and 30 years of professional practice this exhibition showed three works exploring the themes of material fluidity and the relationship established between maker and material. The Material and The Immaterial 3
In September 2016 I held a solo exhibition at La Trobe University’s Phyllis Palmer Gallery. It was one of the first opportunities during my PhD research to demonstrate evidence of thinking in mosaic as a new mode of making, and was influential in developing the work I have made since. The exhibition title The Material and the Immaterial referred both to the materiality of mosaic and the act of
Perdurance #1 and Perdurance #2 were made in response to a selection of ceramic Hellenic artefacts selected from the Trendall Collection of Antiquities for the La Trobe University In Conversation exhibition. Not a diptych but parallel works, they were made using a collection of found 19th century domestic glass and ceramic-ware shards gleaned from the bush in the vicinity of Bullarto in central
Just Add Water (Biodegradable Citadel and Il Futuro Remoto diptych, 2017), made soon after The Eye-conoclasm triptych, was conceptually related to another contentious political scenario synchronously unfolding geographically close to Syria in the southern Mediterranean country of Malta. Just Add Water was made in response to the brutal murder of Maltese anti-corruption activist, journalist Daphne
Conundrum is a sculptural work encompassing both traditional and non-traditional mosaic elements, and expresses the theme of the self-repeating, chicken and egg dilemma that has occupied existential thinking for centuries. Conundrum was exhibited at Bibliomosaico, Ravenna, Italy in 2017 & 2019, and Bibliomosaico Paray le Monial 2018.
In August 2017 I took part in a group exhibition at Mawson Pavilion in Hobart, Tasmania, with fellow Australian mosaicists Rachel Bremner, Wendy Edwards and Pamela Irving. The works explored the relationship each artist had with the natural or cultural history of Tasmania. My work, 'Eubalena Australis and the Story of Light' was a collapsing together of two stories that enriched my childhood.
Soon after The Material and The Immaterial exhibition, I was invited by the Director of Alcaston Gallery to contribute works to a group exhibition in early 2017, Time and Tide, showing works contemplating ‘the impacts of climate change as observable reality within environment, culture, migration, and politics’. Building on my interest in using car parts as mosaic substrates, due both to their
I was listening to the radio one day when I heard a national security advisor comment that ‘Facebook is a Spook’s Wet Dream’. To commemorate this evocative phrase exposing the absurd illusion of privacy, I quoted the statement in both Latin (expressed through the contemporary materiality of luminous acrylic) and in modern font using marble tesserae (not pictured).
RKM: Road Kill Mausoleum questions our desire to hold on to memory and life. Memories are captured and preserved in every aspect of our lives. Everything we construct contains, records and transmits information about ourselves. Even our bodies contain and pass on genetic information. The catalyst for RKM: Road Kill Mausoleum was the cruciform architectural footprint representing before and
Blancmange was an exhibition of diverse works made in response to a collection of antique homewares at Hugh Webb Antiques. They included various interpretations on the theme of blancmange and included a range of small sculptures made using copper jelly molds. Blancmange was exhibited in association with the 2011 Castlemaine State Festival.
Lucky was a private farewell gesture by me to René Schaefer, who had been my studio assistant and artistic collaborator over many years during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Our working relationship ended when I moved from Melbourne to central Victoria in 2008. Although Lucky the man was sourced from a 1950’s illustrative book on games - demonstrating the horse-shoe tossing stance - the
Manga Medusa (Helen Bodycomb and René Schaefer.) One day as Ren and I were working on a commission in my large Northcote warehouse studio, we began to speculate what we would make afterwards during a fertile gap between commissions. With the noise of fabrication and 10 metres or more between us, René misheard something I said and thought I had suggested we make a manga version of Medusa.
Shroud was a memento mori installation exploring material fluidity and the earthly repatriation of matter. A burial shroud adorned with a Hellenic-inspired mosaic emblema featuring native plant forms hovered close to the ground, and nearby, a video with almost imperceptible movement showed an Australian bush cemetery. The mosaic was, with the exception of the Venetian gold leaf, made using
I have always found the humble chicken wishbone an enigmatic symbol; a life past, a curious piece of anatomical design and of course the object central to games of sibling rivalry. The custom of drying the wishbone from the Sunday roast on the kitchen sill was common to many Australian childhoods. Some bones ended up being munched by a mouse or layered with dust and forgotten. Others were
'Nest' remains one of my favourite works. It was modelled on a small, very finely woven nest found in our garden in Vaughan, complete with a few delicate strands of bright blue baling twine. I sought to render the mosaic not unlike a slightly smudgy drawing of this nest, also imposing on myself the technical challenge of resolving a chaotic series of contour lines with eventual encircling rows of
Trophy Trophy was one of the very first works I ever made on glass. I was wanting to celebrate obsolescence by recalling the TVs of my childhood. Large, shiny timber cabinets housed valve technology that took 10 seconds to warm up and buzz into life. Glorious black and white for Hogan's Heroes or The Leyland Brothers. Embarassingly, we didn't have colour until well after everyone else had
In 2003 René Schaefer and I mounted an exhibition called Degustation of Mosaic within the historic brick kiln gallery at Northcote Pottery in Melbourne. We made a series of 25 cm sampler type mosaics, in an attempt to explore a wide range of mosaic applications on individual small panels.