Into The Light

 

There’s really a hundred different ways I could title this post. Today it will be this though. You might be noticing a patten here. A flurry of blog posts then nothing for months. Another flurry and then nothing and so on. Sorry, that’s just how it is really. Time to tell others is something I’m not good at factoring into my to-do list.

This is something I’ve been working on for almost a year now. In fact when I started it last November, I didn’t even know I was creating a series of interlinked woodcut prints. Sometimes the story evolves and writes itself as you go along. It was an unexpected conversation with a gentleman named John Dyer Baizley in February that not only gave this series focus but in no small part completely upended the way I have created my prints this year. It’s funny how a few well times words can ripple and grow inside your head until they change the way you look and approach everything you make. To me, I have John to thank for the prints below…
Pt.1
This first print was initially titled ‘When Lessons Go Unlearned’. It was a lamentation on the way I have in the past treated (or mistreated) my bones and my physical body. Let’s just say that as a kid, I often found out things the hard way and got to know the emergency ward of the Penrith Hospital pretty well.
Pt.1-2
From there I started to consider some of the ‘near misses’ I have had throughout my life. A cat has nine lives, or so the story goes. If that’s the case then I most certainly do not have all nine left to toy with.
Pt.2

These are shots of the test prints as they have come off the blocks. Each print is an exploration of my memories and thoughts of an exact moment in time. I won’t explain them here, maybe I’ll make an artist book some day soon and include the gory details there…
Pt.3
pt4

Pt.4
Pt.5
This is half of the last chapter in the series. This is the block I finished and printed a few hours ago. There is also a red block to go with this black block. That will be next up on the to-do list.

block
print

Plans are afoot to properly exhibit the whole series in December. More details of that when I have them though. That’s me for now. There will be more to share when I next have the time.

One Less On The ‘Things To Do In Life’ List

As someone who upon stumbling into adulthood discarded popular music for whatever I could find on the fringe that excited me, one name commonly underpinned most of what I was into. That name was Amphetamine Reptile Records (or AMREP for short). Unsane, The Jesus Lizard, The Melvins, Cows, Helmet and many more names were the most exciting bands that I had ever heard at the time – In some ways they still are almost two decades later.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep this post shorted than a novella. The music I make with my best friends is the also the music we love, informed by the music we love. So after playing music for only seven years, five of which were as part of No Anchor, AMREP head honcho Tom Hazelmyer (HAZEXXL to you) – who both new and had heard of my band – offered to release some of our music.

This my friends is about as lofty a musical aspiration as I’ve ever had!

Amrep-1

 

Amrep-2

And here it is. On 10inchs of vinyl with as a bonus, two woodcuts of mine. A lot of work, sweat, organising, fear, excitement and elation went into this. I’m super proud of it. Below is some snaps of the prints coming together as well as the limited edition versions which had hand-printed covers by me. The standard edition was printed care of Matt at 7th Disaster Screeprinting

Amrep-3

 

Amrep-4

 

Amrep-5

I’d include a link to where you can buy it but upon it’s release back in June the entire edition of 500 sold out in about five hours. Not bad for a underground noiserock band from Brisbane Australia. The best I can offer is two filmclips made by HAZE. I liek to think of them as insights into his demented genius…

HAZE also did a version of the record with his linocut artwork (as opposed to my woodcut artwork)…

Hazecover

I never thought my visual art or my music, both new things in my life would reap rewards like this. Remember, think big kids!

Black Birds Banksia

After my exhibition in Melbourne in May which due to the organising and such meant I didn’t carve any new work for a couple of months, I was finally able to turn my time towards some very important projects. The one at the top of the list was a commission piece for a fellow who had a very specific idea in mind.

What was requested was an exact species of (Yellow Tailed) Black Cockatoo and Banksia tree that grows in Tasmania – the place where this fellow grew up. Given that I had dabbled with (North QLD) Palm Cockatoo a while back I knew I could probably do a pretty good job with it’s Tasmanian cousin.

Banksia

This is a shot from my printing table as the first print came off the block. The fellow who commissioned the print was super happy with how it turned out and there was even talk of what his exclusive print might look like as a tattoo.

This was a hard image to carve with not only each Banksia leaf having to be carved out but a lot of detail. There’s always added pressure when you’re creating an image to somone’s specific request but I was also really happy with how this project turned out.

To The North

A few years ago, I drafted a tour poster for my friends in To The North. Outside forces and circumstance meant that the print was never used ans as such was filed away.

Fast forward almost four years and To The North’s vocalist Cam (and total legend of a dude) asked if the print was still there to use. Of course it was and so a bunch of shirts were printed up.

ToTheNorth

I can’t guarantee that there are still any of these left seeing as they seem to have been quite popular. I’m real happy though that they got to use this.

I Used To Skate Once 10 (2014)

IUTSO10

In June I was part of the 10th year of The Outpost’s I Used To Skate Once exhibition. This was my contribution to that show. I was asked a few times if the words on the deck were laser-cut. No, they were all hand carved by me. Still I took the question as a compliment.

IUTSO2014

If you look for any kind of meaning in my (carved) thoughts, it’s that you can’t always take life to seriously… remember to go outside and play, enjoy and have some fun.

Once Every 15 Days – Until Sunday

Here’s some quick snaps from the Old Bar Gallery space where my exhibition is now hanging. I love how gritty the space is and I think it suits the works. It’s hanging until this Sunday 1st June and is open 4pm until late weekdays and 2pm until late Sat / Sun.

Once Every 15 Days – Up Now at The Old Bar, Melbourne

The above post show’s The Old Bar Gallery space and the works on show but I thought I’d also let you see the individual works themselves. Pretty much everything on show is available for sale. If you’re not in Melbourne then feel free to email me (alexandeverything at gmail dot com) and we can make it happen.

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book #7

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book

So at the moment my world is fast filling up with all the things I need to organise for my solo art show in Melbourne opening next month at The Old Bar in Fitzroy.

Now this is a good thing but also it leaves me little time for distractions and I love a good distraction. Add to this some of my friends who have seen what I’ve been working on behind the scenes lately have had very positive feedback and so last week I thought I’d take a bit of time out to make an artist book. Here it is and it’s titled How Do You Sleep?

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book

There is a undercurrent of thoughts that link a lot of my latest woodcuts, that and my somewhat erratic sleeping pattens of late have culminated in the images and contents of this book. I have handmade it as a concertina style book with a hardback outer cover. It’s a nice size in the hand at 21 x 21cm and I have made it in an edition of 23 copies.

 

book making

Above is my work bench over the last couple of days, basically all that paper, tape and cardboard eventually gets distilled down to this (just like magic)…

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book

It’s for sale HERE in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for reading.

Returning To The Board

boards

Skateboard decks – a popular canvas for people to decorate, paint, design or simply draw upon. It was my good friend Matt Brady who I can thank for helping get me into decorating skateboard decks as much as making woodcuts. Long before I got a handle on relief printing as an artistic medium I was experimenting on carving decks. The above photo has at the top the second ever woodcut I tried back in May 2008 and at the bottom the latest one I carved last week – both went a new home at True North in Melbourne last week.

Not carved as a printing matrix but as I sculpted illustration. I have to admit I do not really enjoy illustrating decks. The wood is so hard it hurts my hands (treated Canadian Maple), the wood surface is convex which makes correctly angling the carving blade tricky. Still they look really cool and while I repeatedly tell myself upon finishing a deck that it will be my last, I keep coming back to do more. I love the True North deck above. Like old-school tattoo flash with the tinted woodgrain showing up through the white inked surface.

I have only just by writing this post realised that I have actually done ten decks to date. I can’t help but think that deck No.11 probably isn’t far off…

Once Every 15 Days – 23rd May, Melbourne.

ARTSHOW_poster

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