120 x 87, Oil on Belgian Linen bonded to Russian Birch Ply platform, 2020
Salinity is a painting which leaves little to interpretation. It is a painting of multiple stories entwined together to form a narrative of an ever widening global problem of mankind’s impact upon once pristine environments. It is a painting of loss and a reflection of dire consequence in the face of ambivalence and lack of action. My aim with this work is to draw attention to the problem of ocean rise within the South Pacific. While environmental issues often arise within my work, the direction to place this work toward the Pacific is new territory. Both of these semi surrealist works started from a plastic refuse necklace foraged from the beach and inspired the idea ‘Once we wore garlands'.
Inspired by the idea ‘Once we wore garlands’, Paradise Tossed sparked from a plastic refuse necklace foraged from the beach. The painting acts as a sister painting to 'Salinity' and follows the theme of mankind’s impact upon once pristine environments.
Following an article (Strange & Memorable, Paintings by Liam Barr) published in the Autumn edition of Art New Zealand 2019 by Michael Dunn, art historian, writer, academic. I was commissioned by Michael to paint a portrait of himself and his cat, a rather self posessed British Shorthair named Oscar.
This contemporary realist painting employs a political statement commenting on commercial gain to the detriment of the environment, international standing and common good for the people as a whole. Greed is the common term.
I painted this work specifically for the Auckland Art Fair 2016.
Photo realism is a side of my practice which I have until lately avoided. While I could appreciate the work of others, I could never see the value in it for myself - how wrong I was. I couldn't resist adding the duck and fish to enhance the effect but I found the process wholly enjoyable and technically enlightening. Thank you Cole for being such a great muse.
Take no nonsense women are a recurring theme in my work and 'The Sheriff' is no exception. As she prepares herself for a soak she checks herself and verifies that indeed, she still has what it takes. There are a couple of nice details in this painting namely the skull and crossbones tapware and the bullet fingernail. This was a fun piece in the lowbrow/pop surrealist style.
This painting was commissioned by Dame Suzie Moncrieff & WOW to celebrate the 'supreme' winning entrant for the 2014 WOW awards. The painting illustrates the Pacific Section wearable art entry 'Poly Nation' by Kate MacKenzie. It was constructed from vintage leather & cardboard suitcases.
"By the word ÉGRÉGORE, as used by the ancient hermeticists, I mean a group of humans endowed with a personality different from that of the individuals forming it. Though studies on this subject have, in the past, been either obscure or secret, I believe it is possible to understand the conditions necessary for the formation of an égrégore. I would point out immediately that the indispensable (though not sufficient) condition lies in a powerful emotional shock. To use the terminology of chemistry, I would say that synthesis brings about intense energetic action."
-Pierre Mabille from Égrégores ou la vie des civilisations.
She arrived in darkness,
Woken by screams,
She swam in darkness,
Survive by all means.
To where were her kin,
Her man, her daughter,
They sank without sin,
By breathing the water.
She tasted the end,
But found the sea shore,
How many others,
Lay on the sea floor.
As the bay sucked her in,
To her imminent doom,
She sang to her loved ones,
And accepted her tomb.
The air with filament tones abound,
with heartache and regret,
through bone and beak, the notes resound,
with love they can't forget.
In company she's barely seen,
judged societies outcast,
to meet with her you want be keen,
feathered sentinels stand fast.
Her name belies her state of mind,
comfort plays no part,
her quest pertains her man to find,
vowed, 'till death do us part.
Solo is what Sola does,
and oceans she will cross,
true mates, there be only one,
just like the Albatross.
There's solace within the black ink of night,
till the viscid void yawns and breaks at first light.
Trapping her prey by artful birdlime,
tagged and bound till a more suitable time.
By day her act seeks to solemnly pursue,
a persuasive pretense at dignified virtue.
Alas, the orb rolls away far to the west,
and darkness descends once more on the nest.
As feathers and frippery adorn her white hair,
which feckless aviate tonight will she snare.
When comes the bitter end,
no hope left in sight,
to death I must attend,
my blood flows hot in spite.
The chosen one is still unclear,
there's no need to pretend,
one would ever shed a tear,
if to hell the bitch I sent.
And what of our poor captain,
trembling there with fear,
alas, his days are numbered too,
t'was he who put us here.
Her life was fraught,
and cash was short,
baby farming eked a living,
but by her touch,
they died too much,
there could be no forgiving.
Little Eva and Dot,
straight from the cot,
sealed the fate that hanged her,
her neck went crack,
like the clickety clack,
of a train which smelt of murder.
Laudanum and smothering,
were Dean's way of mothering,
with trickery guile and daring,
but who was to tell,
beyond a faint smell,
the bairns were well beyond caring.
Indeed there are no paths to the past, there are only the stories shaped by the teller. Postcolonial NZ sang a song of 'Maoriland' to our European counterparts, a sentimental tune of national identity espousing a land of deeply tattooed heroes & dusky maidens.
Influence from afar entice us and beliefs must be protected. Friendships are based on loyalty and with that comes unity, strength and resolve. Without these binding forces the bond weakens and we become brittle & disparate.