Sunday, May 29, 2011

D x 20 (S) + (T x M)

20 more or less steps in this pic.
Dante set off and climbed these stairs at Lake Barrine from bottom to top.
D x 20(S) + (T x M) =  Very excited and proud parents

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Journey into the light


Yvonne Audette's monograph, 'paintings and drawings from 1949-2003' caught my eye once again today whilst browsing through the 'bookie wookies '.

The work  'Journey into the light' painted in 1967 is one of the standout pieces in the monograph, a real gem. This work looks like the feeling of the first rays of sunlight touching the skin in the dawn while the air is busily jazzing up with the funky call of bird song colouring the sky.  
When I was studying at the V.C.A, Yvonne did a stint lecturing life drawing. I was in my first year  and I got to glean a lot of good drawing skills from her along with wonderful raw insights into her time hanging out with the Abstract Expressionists in New York.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Burn off

Charles ...................
Spotted these gems of Euan Macleod nesting in the Cairns Regional Gallery's online collection list. The works feature Yarrabah during a dry season burn off.

gouache, acrylic on paper

Treasure Map

Found this  'Treasure Map' on my run through the online rags this morning.
Emek's 2006 Nick Cave poster. 
*Photograph: Emek /

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A horse called Sorrow


'I say it's funny how things go '

*From 'The Carny' by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teasing for rides

Charles ..................................

This young 'fella' is grown up fast and keep'n busy. 
Spotted trying out the 'ranks' and teasing for rides while chew'n along Jilgi Rd in the morning, then again down Bukki Rd with mum nibbling up the afternoon light.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where the green ants dream-Outpost


I found this quiet gem this morning, a green ant outpost.
'Common as' .........always love the simplicity and means of construction the green ants put into their nest. 

It got me think'n about John Davies who was a lecturer of mine at the V.C.A.

John Davies
Site work, Barmah Forest, Victoria,Australia

You can check out his back catalogue at ArcOne

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The cloud of unknowing

Charles............... some tools for conjuring.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Bruce Atom

240X200 cm oil on ink-jet 2005
I was just testing out the fun of randomness on the net, the fun of using the net like a Taoist reading guide.....the answer to my randomness is ........
Peter Blonde's 'Bruce' 
This painting and its title reminds me that there are many types of 'Bruce atoms' in the world.
Bruce atoms can appear,
as an artist,
as a movie,
as a martial arts dude
as the Boss,
as a song, 
as an actor,
as a highway,
as my uncle,
as a random spirit dude in Mexico, known as Bruce.
Yes it happened to me. I was in Mexico in 1992...sitting on a bus looking at a map, thinking I would like to cross from Mexico to Guatemala using the river system instead of more buses, when I overheard two dudes with fuzzy Germany accents speaking English with the same idea as mine.
I introduced myself and found out they were from South Africa. They replied......... 
'Nice to meet you Bruce'.........

........................ so when in Mexico, beware, you might get 

I dedicate this page to all the Bruce Atoms in the world.
Long Live Bruce.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gooney Bird

......Art Deco of the air.......

A beautiful slick silver painted time traveller, a very air worthy DC-3 Gooney Bird built by the Douglas Aircraft Company circa 1936 to 1945, sitting on the strip with Yarrabah in the background.
In flight, this goddess of the air with her twin radial engine hum, tickles the ears and warms the heart however  I would not like to meet her Nemesis known as 'spooky' or call sign 'puff the magic dragon' which was a modified airframe converted to battle beast duties during the Vietnam War.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beneath Clouds

Australian film maker Ivan Sen who directed the highly acclaimed Beneath Clouds has shown his new film Toomelah in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.
Look forward to getting me eye magic into this film.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Temple of the Jaguar


Years ago, I slept atop the Temple of the Jaguar in Tikal Guatemala near where I was doing time as an artist in residence at a Zoo in the Peten jungle.
The zoo specialised in taking care of animals that had been recovered from poachers. This was a hot fun job, smack bang in the middle of the Peten jungle near the famous Tikal (see closing scenes of Star Wars episode IV).
The jungle at night glowed with luminescent bugs, during the day the ground crawled with packs of ants that would de-flesh you if you snuck a look at sleep in the shade. Around the zoo cheeky spider monkey's hovered teasing for food, scarlet macaws nibbled my back pocket teasing for fun, and a very clever jaguar stalked me while I was carrying water past his enclosure.( almost dinner)
The zoo had no fence on its perimeter bar the fences for the temping animals in our care.The  zoo was in the wild. 
At night a female jaguar would come into the locale of the zoo to seek the male in the cage. You could hear them cooing and whistling to each other, which is a strange way to describe their fraternising.
The path between the kitchen and the tree house meant that sometimes you would get caught out on the path late at night. To travel back to the tree house from the kitchen you would have to weave your way through the dark by banging your torch into trees thereby hoping you would only see the path, not a pair of hungry lover eyes.

Jaguars............we had one on our ceiling of the family home when my brother and I were kids. Amongst the 150 model airplanes my brother and I made, was a Sepecat Jaguar suspended by string.

Fiona Banner's Sepecat Jaguar at the TATE in London 2010 is no model. This stunning art work, is the real deal, stripped down to a sleek super polish, reflecting the neoclassical Duveen Galleries. PPRRRRRRFFECCT for a Cat Women. 

Thoughts on this art work.
 Art is War
or .........
Flying On The Ground Is Wrong .......
Temple of the Jaguar.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pirates in the Holy Land


I remember my headmaster at school telling me how the British outlawed and defeated piracy. He was so proud of this one fact that he mentioned it more than once. It always freaked me out this fact, as I had loved dressing up as a pirate and it was like he knew I was from 'pirate stock'. 
My mums family has an infamous ancestor in the family known as the 'Gentleman Pirate', Stede Bonnet. Stede worked along the Atlantic Ocean, up and down the East Coast of the United States and Caribbean Sea in the 16th Century.

However Stede was also defeated by the British, and for him it came to end at the 'Battle of Cape Fear River'.
AAAAARRRRRRRRHHHH..... Blast my Headmaster, for being so proudly British....blast the British on defeating Great Uncle Stede......Sometimes I feel that those battles with the headmaster were the unraveling of past life battles on the sea.........But he never managed to expel me.....Thank god for my history teacher that survived a 5000km forced march to a Siberian Gulag at the end of WW2..........He knew what I was on about, thanks Mr Szig.Mr Szig was no pirate. He was a soldier in a Hungarian cavalry unit on the Eastern Front that did the last ever horse charge into battle against Soviet tanks. The battle was pretty clear, the armour of the horse could not compete with the metal meat of the Soviet tanks. Mr Szig lost that battle and his long cold walk to Siberia was the beginning of his journey in becoming my teacher. When he meet me, he knew a few things, he also knew that drawing golf balls from different angles was not the way to learn about art, hence my rebellion in the Year 12 art class and my escape from expulsion.

As for Great Uncle Stede........You have to dig the Pirate Gentleman's choice of an ensign, a skull and bones, with dagger and heart on either side. I like the choice of a heart. After all there is not much love in piracy,  so  good to advertise before you board and mug that you are a pirate with some warm feelings. I guess the sword is a direct way of advertising how your business can work for others.The bone suggests you have some serious tricks up your sleeve, yes a really nasty super weapon.... Voodoo. 

Uncle Stede ran out of magical powers in the 'Battle of Cape Fear River'.....I am sure my headmaster was there to get his booty.Stede's life is a handsome story to pass on, so thanks mumzzie for more than a DNA booty. Its great to have a wild adventurous uncle as a dreaming story. 


Myth, fact or dreaming story, Uncle Stede's life has got me thinking about Daniel Boyd's series of paintings from 2007, that 're dress' images of our colonial fathers as pirates and get us to view how we all look at 'Treasure Island'.

Way before Daniel was born, when the Europeans were planning WWII, yes way back in the 16th century, they started making maps with islands on it. Making maps was an important industry and valuable alchemical way of conjuring wealth and maintaining your power. As a king the map was the key corporate plan of maintenance of power in your kingdom. Without a map, you might loose your head, to some cousin.
European Kings became obsessed about divining maps to create wealth and power, so much so it became very fashionable to imagine and create islands that were full of booty. Eventually map makers dreamed up a super island that had the biggest booty ever, 'Treasure Island'.
Treasure Island started appearing in places such as the 'Hall of Maps' in the Vatican from the 15th Century and in other 'riff raff' brochures  with names such as Terra AustralisTerra Australis Ignota or Terra Australis Incognita which is Latin for "the unknown land of the South",
the one I like most, La Australia del EspĂ­ritu Santo which in Spanish means  the "the southern land of the Holy Spirit".
In the 18th century the stage was set for the wicked exploitation of 'Treasure Island'. King George III having rounded up all the pirate 'scally wags' of the Caribbean and having kept the British engaged in the the business of losing the American War of Independence, ordered the 'conquest' of Treasure Island to begin.  
Daniel's painting 'King No Beard' 2007, represents the leader of the pirates who invade 'Treasure Island' which is none other than King George III. In this re-editioned portrait of The King, Daniel paints a mocking re-ordering of  the division of labour between King and Pirate. Through slight tweaks of Alan Ramsay’s portrait of King George III, he stylishly re brands the original 'King G' by posting him with subtle additions such as the eye patch and a parrot. We now see King G lavishly glowing as the Cyclops Pirate King, with one eye for power and dreams surrounded by his imposing castle, and the odd native head in a jar....

However the war of conquest is not over, nor is the resistance. This painting suggest it still going on. The use of the self portrait by the artist is a very smart act within this resistance.Daniel is aware of his desire to resist, as he is also aware that the original painting has a mimetic element beyond the formal details of just a Kings Portrait. As a portrait of a King it is a historical painting imbued with the King's own vision of conquest his dreams of power. 
Daniel has decided to resist, by fighting back using his craft, by crafting a spell, a.......... curse...........voodoo. His quiet act of resistance is clever, he has inserted the image of his own head into the painting as though it were a natural element in the original setting of the work.The artist is craftsman of both art and magic and his severed head is the artist own mimetic counter measure, imparting the distilled dreams and visions of the artist into the paintings historical logic, to muck with its mimetic files, to deactivate the Kings Power. 
To the initiated, Magic is a powerful weapon in Treasure Island and in indigenous cultures unburied body parts or any part of the body can be a means to curse someone. Daniel's use of his own head implements a painterly curse, a Cleverman's magic trick, an act of payback.
This payback is subtle, not murderous. Thankfully 'King No Beard' now sits within the National Gallery of Australia doing its powerful magic on redrawing the conquest of Treasure Island and transmitting the newly inserted contagion upon all who live in the 'Holy Land'.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fungus Trail


'Out the window
Down the tree
Over the wall
Around the lake
Under the bridge
Between the rocks
Through the woods'


Check out  Dr Karl on the link below with more fungus fun.

above text from
bears in the night 
stan and jan berenstain
collins and harvill
1971, new york 

Sunday, May 01, 2011



Dante and I again ventured around Yarrabah today and came upon a bonanza of horse action.
Theodore Gericault, Eugene Delacroix and George Stubbs horse paintings came to mind.