Posts Tagged ‘ Woodcut Portrait ’

Where Do They Come From?

These are the initial proofs for a series of woodcuts I’ve recently finished – a series that I’ve titled ‘Thanatos’. Three images that I thought came from the same place. I’ve spent more time than usual labouring over these woodcuts, not because they were difficult or easy or created for a specific outcome but due to the way they came to be and why they came, left and came back in disguise…

Sometime ago, I awoke from a very vivid dream, one that had a linear narrative to it and it left a series of specific images in my mind. I then went on to visualise parts of that dream into the woodcuts you see here. As you might be aware, many hours go into making a woodcut and I spent a considerable number of days working on these three images, watching them appear and take shape. The thing that struck me as I worked away was that while they were inspired by one nights brain activity they actually came about much earlier than that…

Part 1.

Recently I adorned a skateboard with a woodcut of two birds. Birds are a favourite of mine when it comes to subject matter for woodcuts. I also listen to a lot of classical music when I carve, two bands in particular being Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt.Zion. As I carved away at this image which was a distinct part of the aforementioned dream – I came to realise I was already familiar with this scene finding a parallel visual narrative inside the sleeve of a Silver Mt.Zion album. Thankfully I like to think I’ve taken my own slant and made it my own.

Part 2.

The final part of that skateboard I mentioned was a single bird feather. I’ve had a different design project going on for the last few months that I’ve put hundreds of hours into and early on I had wanted to incorporate this symbolic use of feathers but I couldn’t make it work so I ditched the idea and went with something else. However fast forward two months later and here is that design image I was searching for. It also looks like I might still be able to put it into my other project. Maybe it was that thing of walking away from an idea to find it.

Part 3.

This lady was the protagonist in the dream, I still don’t know where she came from, I don’t automatically recognise her. Maybe I will at a later date. Still she is the third part of that dream narrative about death, how you define those around you that you love and how you prioritise who and what you love.

I don’t spend much time thinking about inspiration when it comes to what I carve but I have found this a curious series of events where these images have changed their meanings. It is nice to know that while my conscious brain might not know what it’s doing and why, my unconscious brain seems to know exactly what’s going on and is not afraid to tell me.


Glorious Cacophonous Vibes

Yesterday I received the the most awesome package in the mail. The debut 7″ single by Melbourne band Harmony. My good friend Tom Lyngcoln is the voice and the raging storm of this band and the music is easily as good as anything Tom has done in his other (amazing) band The Nation Blue.

But you see that’s not the half of it. The thing that made me real damn happy and proud was the fact that Tom asked me late last year if I would be willing to do the cover-art for the seven-inch. Something that would fit the vibe of the songs enclosed. The record sounds great. It’s on pristine white vinyl and somehow cause it’s a record, it’s worth more to me personally.

The print as you can see is of a person crouched down with their head in their hands. When I first started it, it was to me a woman crouched down but when someone who saw the print of this asked me the other day… “is that you in that picture?” I guess it’s a bit more ambiguous and that’s probably a good thing.

It means a real lot to me to have a woodcut of mine living with the songs of Harmony. So far it’s this years high water mark!

…and here is the my original print. I’ve posthumously titled it ‘Cacophonous Vibes’ and it’s 29.5cm x 39.5cm

Heinz’s 7-inch Launch At Doggett St Studios

Here’s some photos from the art launch of Heinz Reigler’s 7-inch launch at Doggett Street Studio. The show is on for another week.

The closest ones have my cover art.

John says “Give me that one”!

It’s Emma’s portrait that I turned into a woodcut for Heinz’s record. Emma is still as modest about it as she was when I first started.

(clockwise from left) Me, Bo, Stephen, Heinz. Bo and Stephen were the other two artists who contributed artwork.

Us with Darren who was also was a huge help in getting the record released.

Good times.

And The Lovers Make A Scene

My best friend Heinz, is launching his new 7″ record tonight. It’s the first installment from his forthcoming full-length record. The music he makes is wondrous in a 60s Scott Walker style even though it’s usually stripped down to real Leonard Cohen vibe when he plays live. He’s launching this at Doggett St Studios, Friday 8th October and in a novel (and visually awesome) turn, he is going to be displaying all 200 copies of the 7″ at the gallery as well as perform a few songs…

What makes all this pertinent to this blog page is that Heinz commissioned three of his friends to make the coverart for the records of which I was one of them. The others were Stephen Mok and Bo Stahlman. I did a woodcut of one of the characters in the title song ‘And The Lovers Make A Scene’, it was of a girl named Penny and it’s her you can see above. I’ve had a mixed feelings about commission work in the past with it not always going according to plan but I have to say that this one worked out perfectly and I’m really proud to have done something creative with Heinz.

If you can’t make it Doggett St Studios in the next three weeks (which is how long they’ll be hanging), you can go to Heinz’s website to nab one of the records:

Here’s some nice promo from Brisbane’s daily paper, The Courier Mail: