I moved from Melbourne to Western Australia in 2003 and settled into a different world. Due to bad neck problems I was unable to paint at all for two years and was physically restricted after that for about a further five. The first real body of work I created that felt Australian to me was seeded by a visit to the gold mining town Kalgoorlie. It is not possible to briefly describe a transition from the soft world of Ireland to the intensity of this place…a 7-hour drive from Perth, itself one of the most isolated capital cities in the world. There, my view shifted from the world of landscape as a nurturing and enveloping force to a realisation of the necessity for dogged and persistent endurance within a somewhat hostile place. I began to focus on the idea of labour as an end in itself and the perception that our cultural values put an emphasis on hard work as not only a necessity for survival but as a requirement for respect.
I became interested in the notion that both people and machines worked this land and the paintings were conceived in acknowledgement of the ability of humanity to adapt and enable a world to be forged here
The idea of particle exchange was a whimsical notion derived from the writing of Flann O’ Brien in his ‘Third Policeman.’ In brief, the policeman over the bumpy roads of Ireland; human atoms and bike particles exchange so the bike becomes part human the man part bike… I loved this idea and it seemed to me that these dignified and crumbling machines in the outdoor museum testified much to human invention and endurance.
All works are available as signed limited edition Giclee A4 prints.