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Sleuth Exhibition

4 Nov

Images from the Sleuth Exhibition which opened yesterday

– will be open until November the 30th at Inflight Art Gallery in Hobart,
1-5pm Wed – Saturday in the Paddy Lyn space which is in the back of the gallery.

Sleuth – The department of conversation

25 Oct

I will be exhibiting Sleuth from next Saturday for the month of November – at Inflight Art Gallery (soon to change its name to CONSTANCE).
This is one comic from the Sleuth series which I hope will be an ongoing comics project of mine.

This comic with Paul and Mary was designed to run horizontally across a wall, so it’s not ideally read on the computer screen … though perhaps on a website where you could scroll left to right it might read well. The Sleuth project will not involve Paul and Mary on a regular basis, though they may make a cameo in the future.

This series of comics aims to tell a larger story that sits in between all of the different stories that I have told and will tell. Perhaps you can piece it together over time, perhaps not. It must be said though – Paul and Mary are my personal favourites of all the character’s I’ve met so far … they were one of the first I met as well. I hope you like them too.

Etsy shop

21 Oct

I finally got organised finally – perhaps on the back of a highly productive year – three zines!!
(well – four if you count the one I did for the Barbarians in January)

SO – in the future – if you want to buy some zines from me – go to my Etsy shop!!!

Currently – I have three zines for sale!! – All $5- plus postage! HOW CHEAP!!!
– “I wanna be a travella! (and a artist)” – all the travel shenanigans of me and Nadine’s recent trip to Europa
– “Sleuth Zine #1” (in conjunction with my November exhibition at Inglight Art Gallery
– Carlton Blues yearbook – the view from Tasmania (not many left)

Though if you’re such a lucky duck that you live in Melbourne – the world’s most liveable city, you could always ask at Sticky if they have anything of mine.

Sleuth – Comics exhibition Nov 2012

15 Oct

So I’ve been working on this exhibition for about 12 months now, part-time. It details my meanderings on the topics of spirituality and psyche in modern Australia. The work will be exhibited in the Paddy Lyn space at Inflight Art Gallery in Hobart (an artist run initiative soon to change it’s name to Constance), in the main space will be an exhibition by the ethereal and eerily wonderful Neil Haddon!

Sleuth Exhibiting from November 3rd-30th
Inflight Art Gallery
– 100 Goulburn St, Wednesday to Saturday 1-5pm
Artist talk at 2pm on Saturday 3rd of Nov, all welcome

As part of the exhibition I have also made the first SLEUTH ZINE which I am planning as part of an ongoing series emanating from the pieces that are in this exhibition and adding to the whole piece … which I anticipate will grow and manifest in different magical ways over time.  This exhibition is just the flare up at the start of things.

At the end of the exhibition will also be a concert at Inflight ARI as part of the ongoing SOUND KLUB SERIES … this will be number 7 (the first being about four years ago now). Performing at SK7 will be Paul Haslin (Melbourne), Reuben Ingall (Canberra) and Transmissions (Melbourne), I shall also be performing with a very, very special secret guest … that I guarantee will excite even the biggest Hobart sceptic of experimental music.

Don’t forget that you can also PREORDER the Long Weekend in Alice Springs Graphic Novel which I am aiming to have printed and posted to you in March 2013.

Sleuth – process diary #3: October

4 Oct

So I’ve got a month to go till the exhibition at Inflight Art gallery alongside the well known Neil Haddon. The process so far has been very interesting, I’m still not completely sure how it will look or how the comics will be arranged (I have some thoughts about certain sequences which make up the spine of the comic).

The many comics that I’ve drawn … I count 17 in total … appear to have developed a life of their own … stories are demanding to be written. Which is odd, I set out to let the space between the stories write themselves and I feel like I’ve become a bit of a puppet for the story – it’s telling me what to write, to fill in that space, which wasn’t the plan at all!! I tried to hold back, but it’s out of control.

Some of my favourite characters so far have surprised me – there’s this one who I just labelled the Academic, here he is with Ivan Brackic.

He reads quotes from out of a pile of books – mostly paragraphs that detail the fragility of the modern Australia placed delicately upon this natural world which we’ve held ourselves subtly separate from over time, we seem no closer to becoming one with it. It is an archetypal monster that dwells in the back of our minds.

Then there’s lots of characters in this large panorama that I’ve made

This was based on some old sketches I made whilst sitting on a bench in King’s Cross of people walking by in 2011. I drew lots of people in this version of it, the paper is about four metres long …

I have yet to write the script for this piece, it will be superimposed upon the image. I have some ideas but I’ve purposely tried to keep elements of improvisation in this highly constructed form called comics. I keep a theme, but usually I am forcing myself to keep most of my initial gutfeelings about the words – trying to use my intuition to detect the truths within topics. Slightly terrifying, as I have read over some of the other stuff, and there are glitches all over the place that don’t quite run well together, but there are other bits which even surprise me.

I am currently getting the first Sleuth zine #1 printed, folded and stapled this week – it has a few different comics from the exhibition arranged in a slightly multi-layered fashion to echo the method that I am using in the exhibition as best as can be done in the print format. Can’t wait to see it !!

There are some interesting problems with arranging comics in space – although some conventions to do with reading need to be followed, there are less traditions that need to be followed overall – we don’t have to arrange things left to right or top to bottom. I chose to do this unthinkingly initially because I was thinking generally about how people should move through the space and I wanted them to move around in a clockwise fashion, but technically they could start at any point in the room and read any one of the stories at any time … so this really is not necessary. As I moved on with the development I noticed this was irrelevant and intentionally tried out a right to left comic for the roof (a space that defies the movement of the rest of the room) and some vertical comics.

I have also included a comic with a looped section that moves around two walls and interacts with three different horizontal comics which was quite fun and fluid. I have found more and more that the tying together of separate stories seems to create dialogue between the art and the themes. If you keep the themes totally different between the comics but create a definite physical link between the two – the imagination strives to understand the link even more – and finds links. The human mind’s desire to find patterns is a powerful tool.

The Sleuth Exhibition – process diary #2 – late May

24 May

See process diary #1

So things appear to be cracking along … well slowly.

I have two major projects on the go with lots of other things slowly coming to boil that I have to check on every now and then.

Sleuth is starting to take shape in sort of the manner that I had anticipated – each of the stories that I had plotted out I strategically left as vague as possible so that when I came to each one I could take it and mould it to the space that I had available on the wall. Of course this is sort of much the same as making a story that fits 28 pages or so and then plotting it out etc. I have already made one story that is far too long and my only solution is to reduce the size of the images so that it fits into something across the wall that works amongst the others. The risk with having some stories that take too long to read is that the viewers won’t want to read too many before they move on … this may be an unrealistic fear, it is difficult to capture people’s attention for too long in galleries … but of course comics may be somewhat different in this respect, I don’t know what other comicers’ experience is with respect to this. Perhaps people do hang around for longer.

I have managed about 6 comics so far. As I have been completing each of the comics I have been sticking them up on the walls of my study so that I get a sense of the way they might be read across the walls. There are already a few different sizes of panels and some without panels at all. I have also decided to have what I call a BANG panel – that is a very large panel at the beginning which sets the scene by way of introduction or by having a huge image to start with then having the following panels much smaller attached to the image, hopefully drawing the viewers into each of the stories. I haven’t got digital versions of these examples yet to give you a sense but perhaps later.

I told you about my intention to write really quick comics and to draw them in such a way that they don’t take too long so as to produce more comics. So far I’ve managed to stick to that concept, I have found it to be a very interesting way to write comics. I have insisted on keeping the process very improvised, even the scripts are somewhat dictated by the images, characters’ body language have changed the script in numerous places (because I wrote the words after having drawn the images, in one example I have drawn the entire comic before I knew what words would accompany it). There’s something extraordinarily satisfying in drawing comics quickly, especially after doing such a long-winded and hand-chiselled comic like the Long Weekend. It feels more organic, more exciting and more in-keeping with the way in which I make music.

Enjoying it so far, November here I come.


23 Mar

Another character in my sketchbook at the moment … striding around the desert, taking three fingered jacks out of the soles of his feet and muttering into his beard.
He’s also part of my end of year exhibition … and he is a giant.


Vulpes Vulpes

22 Mar

More of the Tasmanian fox … this picture was part of my visual ramblings in my sketch book whilst searching for themes for my exhibition coming up later in the year in Hobart.

Here’s the fox image I put up before … it was related to some of the many media articles I had been reading about the fox eradication program here in Tassie which is apparently the largest pest control program of its kind in any one area in the world. They use the unpopular 1080 poison which also tends to kill pets and other predators … in Tasmania that means the already heavily endangered tassie devils … and any tigers that may still be lurking … keep your eyes open and your mouths shut if you see one (tigers that is … open your mouth if its a fox).

The Sleuth Exhibition – process diary #1

13 Mar

Warning – art-wank!
Please note: To ensure all wank does not go by unmissed – all French words are in italics .

This post is going to be part of a slowly growing process diary where I will talk about some of the strange discoveries I have made whilst working on Sleuth … which is an exhibition of comics where I will be sticking up comics all around a gallery room. It is a big personal experiment in how comics might be able to work. If you’re interested in this post, then you might be interested in other places where people write art-wanky content about comics such as Australian Pat Grant’s website (just google him), international places such as the Inkstuds (radio show and website), and other places.

For the most part I have decided to make comics that are quicker to write and make, which largely means that there will be drawings of characters without much background details, relying more heavily on the words to give context to the characters. This is mostly so that the interplay between the different comics is where the action is felt by the reader / viewer.

Back-story – For the past few years I have been slaving away on the Long Weekend, which is graphic novel (non fiction comic … is that still called “novel”?) which is long slog … and my heart’s desire was to churn out some comics that were far more intuitive and less thought through. I came up with a loose idea for criss-crossing comics on a wall and applied for a spot at an artist run space (Inflight ARI) in Hobart and got a slot for November 2012.

Even though I still had more of the Long Weekend to ink I haven’t had much left to do in the way of decision making, I had pencilled out most of the last chapter and made most of the grand decisions so it was down to the stage which I like to think of as meditation – just inking away over pencils that had been decided upon a while back. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to decide at all … au contraire – inking is still a very malleable process, lots of things get decided then too … just no where NEAR as much decisions need to be made as the earlier layout and pencilling stages (at least not the way I do things).

SO – my grand master plan was to make something super quick and dirty, making lots of mini-comics, but they wouldn’t be designed for the page, they’d be designed to spread across walls!!

“That’s not a big deal is it?”

WELL – it means a whole different bunch of considerations must be made! Which is when my creative interest is piqued! ( I have a fairly restless mind that needs to be engaged, or I get mssively bored … hence the need for a new challenge that is different to last overly ambitious thing I tackled).

The first thing I decided to do was to make a rough plan of the gallery space, and draw what it could look like … this is before I’d done any writing per se. I then decided on some generalised themes that rattle around my obssessive brain – mostly with a slight Jungian bent to them such as psyche and spirituality in modern Australia, Australian history, particularly that of explorers who die in the pursuit of glory (a ridiculous Australian pastime) … I decided to use these characters that I had invented in 2010 that I had in this comic that I called the Department of Conversation – Paul and Mary … and old retired couple, the baby-boomers, the grey nomads. I decided a comic involving a meandering conversation between them might make for a good “spine” for the whole artwork, something simple to get it all started. I’m quite fond of these two, they’re quite warm and funny in an old-couple kind of way.

I decided after that that I should make a lot of my decisions on the fly as it would give the whole piece a much more improvised feel, which would make it a process of discovery for me … I would discover the links between unrelated comics myself, perhaps I won’t even realise them until afterwards when other people point out links that they’ve made.

I recall a conversation I had with Bernard Caleo in 2011 about non sequitar arrangements (that’s Latin, not French), if you place things next to eachother and show it to people, their brains are hard-wired to search for the link themselves, they assume that since you’ve shown it to them then there is a reason, if you haven’t explained it to them then they will make up their own reason. HOW INTRIGUING!! That’s how comics work … or at least in part. You show people two images, they actively create the link between them panel to panel … but what about story to story?? That’s one of the things that I’m exploring myself. If I stick up a whole bunch of comics that intersect at certain points, then people will assume there’s a link, (otherwise why would I have put them all together) and then they will search for the meaning behind it all … provided I’ve kept if vague enough then unforseen meanings can spring into being within the reader / viewer’s mind!!

Giants walk among us

4 Jan

One of the first in a series of drawings exploring some ideas for a big comics-based project I have in store for 2012 … the working title is “Sleuth”.

I’ll get stuck into it more when I’ve finished the Damned Long Weekend.