What is your earliest memory of making art?
My earliest memory of making art was at school in about 1980 and the project was to fill a balloon with plaster and then shape it into a form. I made something that was bird like from one angle and abstract from the other. My mum still displays it proudly on her mantelpiece.
Do you listen to music when you are creating works? If so, what is on high rotation?
Lately I have been listening to old country compilations, Hank Williams, and Fleetwood Mac. Dan Reeder, Juice Newton “Juice”, Lars Fredericton and the Bastards, Rancid, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Amazing Royal Crowns, Tiger Army, Johnny Cash live at San Quentin. Plus Woolongong surf swamp rockabilly duo Mother and Son. Also, a bit of Frank Turner, First aid Kit, Drag the River… and the occasional Dolly Parton…
When preparing for your last exhibition, did you create works around a theme or did the links between the works reveal themselves later on?
The sculptures for my last exhibition at Brenda May Galley Return of The Bigots, were based on paintings by a friend, Emma Beer. We had a show together in 2009 at M16 gallery in Canberra, called Beer and Bliss. Her paintings had geometric lines that I replicated through my sculptures. I continued making sculptures in a similar style for Brenda May Gallery, the works were raw, aggressive and sharp, influenced by the music I played with my band ‘The Bigots’. The music is fast and loud and I tried to reflect this in the sculptures. During the opening of the exhibition the band played a set as a performance piece.
Describe the space in which you create your works (studio, lounge room etc):
I work from home in few different workshop spaces. One, a large garage that holds larger machines and tools, is big enough to make sculptures up to two meters tall. Larger work can be made in an outdoor area . A second, insulated garage holds smaller tools and machinery and is good for more detailed work. I try to keep noise to a minimum but sometimes it is unavoidable. My neighbours put up with it somehow and always seem interested enough to pop their heads over the fence and see what is being created.
Do you have a favourite piece or favourite pieces? If so, which piece/s and why?
The sculptures for my upcoming show have all been challenging to make. I have been using newly learned techniques and processes that have pushed my limits of skill into new areas. I have been using very thin sheet steel to create compound curves. As the material is very flexible, warping easily I have been pushed to refine my techniques of welding and fitting surfaces together. The Model A Ford I am showing as part of the exhibition has a mostly hand made body. The majority of panels I built or heavily modified, with only a few salvaged from rusty originals. I have picked out details from the car and add these to the sculptures. I guess because they are all so closely connected I have no favourites.
What has been, for you, a defining moment in your career as an artist?
It was when I started to realise that my life and making work aren’t so far apart. There are many connections between building cars, playing in bands and the sculptures I make. The sculptures feel like a direct, logical result form those experiences.
What did you eat for breakfast?
A big fat steak with an egg on it and a six pack of beer.