Monday, 17 December 2007

The Naughty Violinist

Inspired by Fiona's goggle-eyed Santa tree-ornament (see 'Strange Fruit' blog) I present here for your Christmas joy, my Naughty Violinist, who, every year hangs in pride of place on our tree. Heh heh...he makes me smile. Cheeky thing...

Thursday, 29 November 2007

plastic planet

If we chuck enough of this stuff away, I figure our world might end up looking a bit like this. When it does, it will be a mighty heavy weight on all our shoulders.
This piece (sans model) and many others, will be exhibited in "Fragile Planet" which opens on the 4th of December at NG art Gallery, Little Queen St, Chippendale.

"The exhibition 'Fragile Planet' explores the dichotomy between our human desire to save the planet and our addiction to consumption that threatens the very existence of earth."

A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be donated to the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Saturday, 17 November 2007


Photo: Greg Lippiatt

There is really not that much more satisfying for an artist than to see reactions to their creation. After all, we create works to stimulate a reaction. Sometimes the interpretation is something we didn't even consider or intend. Sometimes criticisms are made that offer valuable feedback for the next work. Sometimes people will dislike a work or it will speak to them in volumes. Sometimes they will walk right past it and not even notice it.
I am happy to say, that many of the people who saw my wreath liked it. It made them smile, and hopefully for some, made them think about the underlying message of waste and loss of precious resources. On the whole though, my aim is primarily to create something of beauty. For me, art is as much about beauty as it is about creating meaning without words.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to it by way of materials and encouragement.Without an audience, I would probably not perform.

Photo: Greg Lippiatt

Wednesday, 19 September 2007


In order to not have one of those blogs that gets really boring because it never gets updated, I thought I might post some pictures of the flowers that will be a part of my sculpture by the sea installation.

Some of the flowers in the wreath have stories of their own. Some make references to popular culture, personal beliefs, or simply the natural connection between individual plastic components. I also use visual puns to connect pieces which sometimes also allude to existing flower names. Each flower starts with a single piece and grows slowly by trying a variety of combinations of colours and shapes.

Bo Peep
She is calling out to her sheep as they hide amongst the lush cable-tie grass. She has a skirt made from the trap from a mouse trap game.

Border Protection
Maybe if we closed down detention centres and spent the 200 million dollars we spend on them every year on a more productive and humane solution to asylum seekers...
Maybe we wouldn't have to keep building ridiculous fences.

Measure of Success
A friend gave me the little white house which was given to her as a promotional gift from her real estate agent. It's actually a tape measure that pulls up from the chimney. There is so much emphasis on owning your own home that if you don't, you are somehow perceived as not quite having made it in the world. This house is not only surrounded by the proverbial white picket is also in a leafy suburb. now, if they could only make the repayments.

Bear in a Bucket
I used to collect kinder surprises when you had to put them together. Apparently now, the toys are complete. No assembly required. Suffice to say, I have a box of them and occasionally employ them as the feature for individual flowers. I like the alliterative aspect to this one.

Friday, 17 August 2007


Sometimes I have a picture in my head and it turns into three dimensions. It's my brothers 50th birthday next month. This is his present. I am fairly confident he doesn't make a habit of looking at this page so it's probably ok to unveil him here. He is a Satin Bower bird. The inspiration for the title of this blog. He comes to me in dreams and holds a special place in my heart. When I see one in reality, I am moved, for the connection we have is undeniable. He is a collector of beautiful colour. A hoarder. He sculpts an elaborate bower around the jewels he finds and lures potential lovers to his creation. My brother and I are cursed/blessed with the same affliction. I think it's genetic. We collect to the point of suffocation. We sort and catalogue, assign and combine. This bird is made of things he might have collected, had I not found them first.

Saturday, 4 August 2007


At last a new thing! I have taken a little break from my SXS flowers and constructed this little guy. He is the man in the suit, going to the job he hates. Made from discarded plastic. Little marvels of human engineering and invention, which, like him, are so often ignored for their true value and potential. He is time personified. How briefly we exist, how easily we discard our precious moments.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

work in progress

This is my bower my prison. It isn't really a difficult incarceration, I happily lock myself away in solitary confinement surrounded by a rainbow of boxed plastic. I feel like I'm at a flight deck, with all the knobs and buttons within easy reach for checking and matching, linking and locking. The floral wreath is well under way with 70 or so completed and awaiting planting. Engage....

Monday, 21 May 2007

Hero and Leander

Leander was in love with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, and swam, every night, across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero placed a lamp in her window to guide him safely to her side, for she was also in love with him. One night, a furious storm raged and blew out the lamp that shone from Hero's window. With the guiding light extinguished, Leander lost his way. The stormy sea threw his exhausted body onto the rocks below Hero's clifftop home. At first light, Hero saw the lifeless body of her lover Leander laying on the rocks below her window and jumped to her death to be with him forever.

tag i'm it

Apparrently I have been tagged. Now I know what this means (see strange fruit to the right there) here are my eight random facts.

I can touch my nose with my tongue.

I have a 16 year old chicken (she doesn't lay eggs any more)

Before I go to bed I have to brush my sheets down so there isn't any gritty stuff on them (can't stand gritty stuff)

I don't mind being in hospital, or eating hospital food.

I would have liked to be a singer/songwriter but have paralysing stage fright.

I can swim just over 25 metres under water.

I can recite a chinese poem.

I have recently decided that escalators are about as pointless as the leaf blower.

Monday, 14 May 2007


Swimming at maroubra with another water nymph floating above and diving through a luxurious bed of sea grass, I felt completely at home. If only I could breathe underwater. I'm working on gills.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

playing around with stuff

I went to an auction of framing equipment and supplies on Wednesday and ended up with a couple of kilos of sticky screenboard. I don't know what it's usually used for but I started playing around with it, thinking I might make a picture using wool, like a kindergarten kid. The stickyness wasn't strong enough to hold the wool, but it was just perfect for picking up the fine fillaments left by the wool when I took it off. I found some black satin and pulled at the frayed edge to get some fine stringy bits and let them fall randomly on the sticky board. With a little coaxing, this woman emerged. I pushed the board up against my red jumper and got some nice red wooly fillaments for the background, and pushed a ball of purple wool onto it too. Then I pressed my head onto it and got some hair, and my colleagues jacket for some other lint. The board isn't very sticky now. Click on it to see the lint in all it's glorious detail.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Top secret project under construction. That is all I'm at liberty to say.

(thanks to Chris for taking the photos

Friday, 9 February 2007












Wednesday, 7 February 2007



I made this for some American friends when they got married. It's a classic painting and it's frequently parodied. It made sense to reinterpret it for them.


I made this piece for a friend for her 50th birthday. It's not from any painting and it was much easier to work freeform than from an existing picture. My friend is Buddhist so I wanted to make reference to that and have some meaningful stuff in it. I included the wheel, which spins, as well as a glow-in-the-dark plastic green Tara (the deity she follows). When the lights are off, she's the only thing you see. The tree is apparently very significant for Buddhist practice and is something to meditate on. I didn't know this. When I gave it to her she cried. Nice.


This guy is lifesize and made of drinking straws. Just straws and hot glue. Love hot glue. Is there anything it can't do?


Vincents nose is made of a Barbie leg. His cheeks are toy chicken legs. His wrapped up ear is half a brain from an human skull model. A toy grenade serves as a wooly hat lining. Hardly comforting. Strangely, his coat was probably the most time-consuming.


I asked my friends and family to collect used pill blister packs for me. Within weeks, I had boxes and boxes of them. It's hard to imagine how many pills are consumed by humans on a daily basis. My sister-in-law was being treated for breast cancer at the time and a large propotion of these packets are hers. I also had a student who was in and out of a psychiatric hospital who gave me bags of them when he was let out. Sadly, both of these people are now dead. Sometimes pills aren't enough. I like the ambiguity of the title of this piece. Without the people there would be no pills. Without the pills, there would be no people. If not for you.


I love the original of this painting. I have tried to be faithful to it. I was particularly happy to find a piece of green plastic that perfectly matched the pleats on the breast of her dress. I also used part of a "Lady Jane" comb on the window. Usually I wouldn't let any writing or decoration on the plastic be seen, but I figured it's a bit like a signature on this piece. The mirror took a while to find. It's the top portion of a lid from a fancy bottle of conditioner. That's me in the reflection taking the photo.


I really don't like clowns. Never have. They scare me. In a way this piece is about facing my fears. It is all wood. For some reason I'm uncomfortable about mixing wood and plastic. It's also a marble run. You can put a marble in the top right corner and it bounces it's way all the way down to the scary clown at the bottom left.


This piece is all meatal bits. There might be a couple of plastic bits that look like metal, but mostly it's metal. The guy in the middle is called "Steel" according to the plastic stand he came with. I think he was a happy-meal givaway. Ironic that he's plastic. Classic McDonalds, calling plastic steel. This piece is a bit interractive. The bells jingle and the wheels spin. it's industry; action; warfare. Steel.


I never had a Barbie. I think I secretly wanted one, but to admit it would have resulted in unbearable mockery and potential Barbie torture from my brothers. I anthropomorphised all my soft toys and cried if they were thrown across a room. Barbie would have probably met with a far worse fate. (like Action Jackson, who was buried alive in a custom built casket under the Jacaranda). So, I took every opportunity to play with Amandas barbies. She had sisters, and only one brother. These Barbie products are from my daughters collection. I made up for my Barbie deprivation through her obsession when she was little.


This piece is made from brushes I collected from work. They have all been ruined by students not washing them. the title is taken from one of the handles of a particularly cheap one. I like its celestial reference. This piece reminds me of the space warp thing they do in Star Trek.


Named from Joni Mitchell's song.


People ask me if I paint the plastic. I don't. These are grey, white and black pieces. Unaltered. This was a bit of an experiment in perspective and creating depth. I think it looks like a aerial view of city buildings. The name is a reference to the proverbial town of Gotham. Not the Batman Gotham City, although I could imagine batman flying around this city.


This piece is made of bread tags. Each column represents a different bread tag design and colour. It is a statistical analysis of bread tags. Who would have imagined there were so many variations?