Posts Tagged ‘ Nine Lives Gallery ’

When The Dead Heart Beats: The Epilogue

If you look below on this blog, you’ll see that I had an art show recently. It was a great time and a great experience and a privilege to show with Murdoch. The only problem I had was that with months and months of lead up, making the art, promoting the show, etc, etc… the show itself seemed to be over in a flash. So a few weeks after everything was wrapped up, I thought I should make myself a memento of it all.

So seeing as I’d made artist books for my previous two solo shows, I figured I’d do something like that again.

This is what I’ve been making for the last two days. Seven copies of a small book showcasing all the art that Murdoch and I had on show at Nine Lives Gallery. Everything that was hanging on the walls is here in the book. I’ve constructed and hand-bound the book myself and even cut up two scroll panels to make small fabric pouches that the books will live within.

A fun little project and now something for me to keep. Oh, and I’m sorry but the copies that have been made have already gone to good homes so please don’t ask for one unless you want to give me the cash to personally make you one.


Done and dusted for another year.

Yesterday I pulled down my exhibition with Murdoch from Nine Lives. If you didn’t make it, here’s what you missed.

When The Demon Knife Weeps (2010-2011)
A co-lab between myself and Murdoch Stafford

A Savage God (2011)


Cacophonous Vibes (2011)


While You Sleep (2011)


Salute #2 (2010)


The Longest Sleep (2010)


Untitled (2011)


Allegory (2011)


Possessed (2010)


Untitled (2011)


Some Deaths Are Worse Than Murders (2011)


The last four prints are all parts of the ‘Feel Free To Laugh’ series

WWI (2009)


WWII (2010)


Vietnam (2010)


WWIII (2011)

If something happened to take your fancy, let me know, leave a comment or send me a message. Most prints here are still available.

There is also talk of an artist book being made in the coming weeks for the exhibition. Mainly so I’ve got something to remember what it all looked like together.

…well now it’s onto the next project. Something smaller, something that’ll hopefully make me smile.

“Great show… but have you seen my jumper”

Last Thursday Brisbane had it’s coldest day in several decades with the Temperature topping 7 degrees during the day and getting colder that night. That said, a whole bunch of folks rugged up and came down to Nine Lives for the opening of my show with Murdoch. It was a great night and a great turn out.

Local Photographer Stuart Arrowsmith stopped by and took some shots for project 4000. Thanks Stuart!

The show is open till this Sunday 19th June.

When The Dead Heart Beats

That’s the title of the art show that I am a part of in a few weeks. I’ve organised it with my good friend Murdoch and he and I will be both showing our latest creations. It’s going to be at Nine Lives Gallery in Winn St, Fortitude Valley.

While the show has not been a long time in the making, some of the ideas have. Around sometime in October 2009 Murdoch asked if I’d want to work on something together with him. I couldn’t get the words “hell yeah” out of my mouth fast enough. Murdoch is an amazing artist in his own right and has shown overseas as well as several times in Brisbane. His subject matter can often be macabre, though I wouldn’t pigeon hole him to just that. Either way I really admire what he does with a fist full of pens and paper. We spent some time tossing around ideas and in the middle of last year I started the woodcut below. The image originated from Murdoch’s hands and I adapted it as a woodcut. I didn’t tell Murdoch at the time that I was also taking the image from A3 size to what you see below.

Needless to say, It’s taken me seven months of carving the triptych image. Another month of printing and then the last three months of hemming and preparation to get my edition of three finished. As you can see the prints are on linen cloth instead of rag paper. One, because I couldn’t really afford the paper and secondly, I really, really couldn’t afford the framing. I’m happy with how they turned out and I’ve adapted the prints into scrolls so that they can be easily stored when not hung on display (or draped up in my lounge-room).

Murdoch is stoked on the outcome too. It pretty much is the center-piece of our show together and by far the largest woodcut I’ve tried my hand at to date. I put myself in the photo just so there was no confusion on scale.

And so while this was going on last year, I also turned my attention away from the subject matter of birds and animals and antiquated artifacts of technology and created some war-related prints. As with most things, one thing led to another, one Goya book turns into another Otto Dix book, turns into a Sandow Birk series of prints about Iraq and so forth.
I found it really hard last year to sit a table for days and carve out of the block, the face of a murdered person. Someone who I couldn’t know if they were innocent or guilty, right or wrong. From all this the challenge of late has not been the beautification of my work or the level of detail in its execution. My goals have been to articulate the things that troubled my mind. The inspiration that didn’t make sense. I tried not to overthink things but eventually the themes of violence, murder, suicide, nightmares, loss and even just the idea of belief came to encompass the last six months of work.

None of it in my mind is gory or particularly graphic. That’s not where my interest lies. It’s all interpretative to an extent. I have to admit that it has also been rewarding.

And so in a few weeks time Murdoch and I will get to show all our friends what we’ve been up to. The last time I had a show, a lady told the gallery owner that some of my images were repugnant and shouldn’t be hanging on public walls. I liked that, I liked that something I wanted to say illicited such a strong response.

High Water


As the flier explains, High Water is an online action organised by the terrific people at Nine Lives Gallery in Fortitude Valley here in Brisbane. There’s some amazing artists in that list and I’m chuffed I can help out some more for those folks in our state who have really had a hard time of it this year. Every cent raised through the auction will go towards our state governments flood appeal fund. So not only do you do something charitable and wonderful, you get something beautiful in return! That’s a win in my book 🙂

Here is the piece that I’ve donated towards the action…


It’s called Lost At Sea (Pt.2) and I’ve had it framed up for the wonderful person who eventually will receive it. The framing is of conservation standards and done by the good folk at Doggett St Framing

You can find out more by going to the Nine Lives High Water Website and clicking on the image or by going straight to the Online Action here.


All creations big and small

Well, the annual art show might be all wrapped up for another year but that doesn’t mean that things have slowed down any or that I’ve been lolling around watching tv. No, from one thing straight into the next and boy have I been busy with the next…

The fine folk at Nine Lives Gallery asked me to contribute to their mobile gallery that they are hosting at the Splendour In The Grass festival. I’ve contributed three pieces and while I will not be there in person, It’s nice to know plenty of gumboot wearing people will get to see some fine art amongst the myriad of things happening up there. If I get my hands on some photos I’ll throw them up here.

There’s a good and a bad side to making limited numbers of your art. The good is that you don’t often have to find storage space at home for all your creations. The bad side is that your friends and others miss out if they’re not quick enough. This was the case with a series of souvenir handmade books I made for my Doggett St Studio art show. The books showcased most of the woodcuts in the show (and one or two not in the show) in a nice little hardcover concertina styled creation. The book was an edition of 11 and was all sold out in around an hour on opening night. Still you can check them out here.

So fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and while I was at GOMA buying some great woodcuts from North Korea (more on that below) the bookstore manager Peter asked me if I would put some of my books in the GOMA store to sell. What an awesome opportunity! And so I’ve made a second edition of books. This time I’ve made 20 copies and have made some changes. This edition is green and like the first edition, has an original, unique woodcut print in the back of the book only this edition has a different print which will be available nowhere else.

The other project that has taken up a huge chunk of my life germinated some time ago but became a reality only recently in the form of a collaboration I’m doing with a good friend and fellow local artist Murdoch Stafford. We are collaborating on a triptych based around Japanese mythology, Murdoch is creating the initial illustrations and I’m making woodcuts out of them. In my way of always seeing if I can bite off more than I can chew, I’ve decided to do the woodcuts as big as possible – which is an A0 sized piece of plywood (for those overseas, that’s 33 x 45 inches)

This morning I finished the first of the three parts which happens to be the second of the three panels – it took around 52 hours just to carve it. This is as much as I’m going to show you for now…

…and the last bit of exciting woodcut related news I have (and mentioned above) is in regards to some art that I’ve purchased recently. A few months ago the state gallery had it’s triennial of art from the Asia Pacific region and amongst it all was a room full of wood and linocuts from The Mansudae Art Studio in North Korea. I spent a lot of time looking at these full colour relief prints and putting the politics of North Korea aside, I believed that these are great art. A few weeks after the exhibition closed, I went into the galleries bookstore and saw four of the prints in the show on sale. I could only afford two of them but I was so chuffed to have them to look at daily and be inspired by. The biggest of the two though is a meter and a half long and is so heavy that I couldn’t put it up on my wall. Instead it sits atop my shelves of records. The smaller one however currently sits pride of place in the loungeroom.

With these two pieces coming into my home, I got all inspired to frame up another print I got earlier in the year of a local artist named Sue Pickford. This is her linocut and it currently hangs on my “art wall” in my music room.

I have more art currently at the framers and so I’ll tell you more about those when I get them back home. Now I’m going to turn my attention towards the second panel of my collaboration so I guess I’ll be quiet for quite a few weeks to come.

Not long now…

If feels like the art show that gave birth to this blog has been in the making for so long. Well it kind of has. The idea was born back in February of which only half the items in the show were made.

But I’m really looking forward to all my friends (and a few strangers) seeing what I’ve done. I’m equal parts elated and scared at the prospect of putting myself on display (without a drumkit to hide behind).

The first item I made was this (in July 2008):


The last Item made that’s going to be shown was made last Friday/Saturday/Sunday:

Salute 2

of which I made an edition of 10 prints (2 of them are already sold):

Salute 1

In between those two, I’ve got 33 other pieces on show, some of them littered throughout this blog.

I handmade 5 books documenting 12 months of what I’ve done (again, two of them are already sold), a 7 inch cover, four skateboards and all manner of things. If I haven’t already told you, it’s mainly going to be the woodblocks I have on show – a bit of a faupar seeing it’s traditionally meant to be about the print, but hey, it’s my party, I’ll do as I please! There will be about 7 or 8 prints on show but all bar 2 are in editions of 1 or 2. So to the folks who have asked if I’ll have plenty of print editions availabe, the answer is no.

The Nine Lives crew have informed me that the gallery will be open from lunchtime Friday 17th with the launch part starting at 6pm. The gallery will be open both Saturday and Sunday but the show is only around for three days.

Once the show is over I will most likely put pics of everything up here but to be honest, they look so much better in real life. It’s cool when you can run your fingers over the blocks and feel all the detail.

Anyway, I hope to see everyone next week. Check out this photo that was taken for a article in the paper. Boy oh boy, aren’t we the serious artist (NOT). 😉

Promo 1

Distractions and diversions


I was all set, everything was laid out but then I got ahead of myself… and someone bought my skateboard that I had in I Used To Skate Once 5 last week. This is awesome news but also, it has left a hole in layout for my Nine Lives show. So I’ve spent the afternoon getting a good print off of one of my hardest blocks (& hardest to print).

It’s done, I’m framing it up now but the beautiful sunset outside is jut too much of a distraction. It’s a good day when you find time to watch the sun set in the west. Bardo Pond in the background helps too.

I’m almost finished, almost.