The Dirty Dozen is a space run by Creative Spaces (Melbourne City Council) and used to be known as Platform Art Space – a marvelous underground thoroughfare bedecked in heritage listed pink tiles and signs. It leads from Degraves Street in Melbourne’s city underground to the train platforms of Flinders Street Station. And it was mine, all mine, to do art to.
It’s a pretty unique space and you know I love those! The space is filled with twelve showcases, which at one time were the display cabinets of the first department store in Melbourne.
I have been working photographs of natural and urban environments into my work, unbeknownst to you perhaps. I had been treating this show at The Dirty Dozen as an opportunity to air-out these ideas in public.
I have been long interested in abstraction-in-nature in a few different ways. Firstly, how patterns and textures in nature are pure abstraction; naturally occurring patterns, intricate and random, unaffected by human intervention. For example, the placement of stones, random growth of grasses across a section of ground, angles of tree growth, etc.
Secondly, the clash of colourful human-made abstraction when placed in a natural or urban environment. They play off each other in a way that I love. For years I’ve wanted to paint into thin air outdoors but, breaking the laws of physics being strictly forbidden, I have toyed with bringing the outdoors into my work somehow.
Thirdly, abstraction in nature is without bounds. It isn’t confined by a rectangular frame, it is without barriers. That’s right up my alley with my installations flowing over walls and floor and ceiling like barriers weren’t a thing.
I have been photographing abstraction in nature, landscapes and urban scenes with my camera and collaging them together with my vinyl/paint brush strokes.
I try to treat the images less as what I know them to be (landscapes or parts of landscapes) and address them in my paintings as shapes with which to weave the abstract forms I create with brush and vinyl.