I have a lot of influences on this body of work. I am using the term in media res more as the author S.Batty Page used it in her much under-appreciated and maligned 1995 book American Monroe The Making of a Body Politic, which used the actress Marilyn Monroe as a "representative character" of our time and explores the "vocabulary of memory" and how culture plays a vital role in how we see ourselves and our shared history. For my paintings Bombshells 1-3 I look at the vulnerability of youth in our new counter terrorism 'normality'. In Monroe Page writes that, "mass mediated rememberings authorise public being while simultaneously eroding older forms of popular representation," and therefore that "the space of politics is re-constituted through these mass mediated rememberings as a space of virtual performance." Page was the unrecognised philosopher and psychiatrist for the internet age we are living through, and sadly, she passed away soon after her book was trashed by the New York Times. Her most memorable statement for me is her sentence, "The dead are some of the most powerful figures in the virtual realm".
Going back to basics, after 25 years, back to life drawing at night down on Flinders Street in Melbourne has been challenging but good. My work mixes and mashes styles and I'm always merging realism and abstract and surreal and anything that I need to tell the story. Sometimes it's nice to just do the one thing, like sharpening a pencil. These are pretty rough (they do really fast poses) so I'm hoping I can get back to where I was over two decades back.
Music is incredibly important in my process. Last year I was inspired by Billie Holiday's 1939 recording of her song Strange Fruit as a lens, much as I used Ethel Waters' rendition of Suppertime from Irving Berlin's 1933 broadway revue As Thousands Cheer; Gary Numan's 1979 new wave song Cars for my Diana paintings; lyrics from Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific for my There is Nothing Like a Drone and most weired even for me, The Nolan Sisters's 1979 pop hit Gotta Get Myself Together for my painting The Immaculate Contraption which I exhibited at the International Intervention workshop in the UK in 2012.
Work in Progress 2015-2018
A selection of paintings and works on paper from an exhibition in progress planned for 2018 which is an exploration of our changing world. I know that's broad, but things are changing so fast.
The exhibition title is In media res will have paintings and works on paper are along four storylines: