28 February 2007


I went along to a Gordon Crook opening at the Mary Newton Gallery yesterday. I wanted to see it because I'm really into symbol systems at the moment. It was also not your run of the mill opening. Wandering around the work with a cup of tea rather than a glass of wine was very pleasantly novel.

The way people seem compelled to come up with systems is really fascinating. It has to do with way our brains work. We take this continuous world, break it up into discrete chunks, and categorise those chunks. This has an obvious evolutionary advantage, not to mention such side benefits as enabling language. The problem comes when we assume that the way we construct the world is the only way the world could be. Looking at everything only in terms of a particular system also means you ignore some things and distort others.

There was a superbly ironic prime example of this in today's paper. The spokesperson for the NZ catholic church, commenting on the recent claimed find of the remains of Jesus, his wife Mary, and son Judah, said: 'To suggest they've found the remains defies belief.'

21 February 2007

A couple of silly pics

This is a friend of mine's cat:

I came across this in a book a while ago. I thought it had all the makings of lyrics for a Can't Play Won't Play song:

16 February 2007


I haven't really done any work since Rose and I split up. I haven't been too worried about this, but I think I need to start getting back into it. I think just mucking around and drawing on a regular basis is the go, rather than trying to do finished works straight away. I've gone off the stuff I was doing at the end of last year (apart from Riot) and need to rethink some of the specifics of my approach.

15 February 2007


14 February 2007

Something else in Wellington to go to

It's very annoying when things slip your mind. My friend Scott McFarlane has a show on at Janne Land's. It finishes on Saturday.

12 February 2007


I went along to the Prospect opening at the City Gallery with my friends Liz and Andrew (pictured above) on Saturday night. I didn't end up seeing much of the show, what with the milling crowds and all, but had an extremely enjoyable night, chatting to lots of people. I was even able to compliment Peter Peryer on his blog. Check out his post on the Prospect show.

Something about what I'm doing

I am currently exploring how meaning can be codified visually by combining abstract symbols with figurative representation. In The world, there are three overlapping picture planes: on one is a Gnostic symbol for the world, on another stick figures spelling out a Latin phrase in semaphore, and on the third a stylised representation of a house on the edge of a volcanic island that functions as a visual metaphor for the ideas encapsulated in the symbols. I am working under a definition of art as symbolic thought expressed materially in a self-conscious and highly associative way – something happens in the mind of the viewer.

A representation of an object can be related to other elements in a picture through purely formal means: its size, its placement, and its treatment relative to other elements. Much of my work deals with the interaction of positive and negative space, figure and ground, and painting and drawing. I try to place my work in the interzone between these poles. In Hide and seek, a figure clutching a knife lies in wait behind a vertical pencil line that divides the pictorial space. As well as depicting that interzone, this work alludes to the sometimes antagonistic relationship between artist and viewer.

I see pictorial space as giving the viewer access to an alternate world in which they have ultimate freedom to act. My current work is concerned with using these methods to present a philosophical system that I call ‘common-sense nihilism’. I have been doing a series of self-portraits in which I take on a variety of guises and identities. Self-portrait as magic bishop is not just an homage to the Dada performers of the Cabaret Voltaire, it also depicts one strategy for surviving in a hostile and contingent, not to mention pointless and absurd, universe – armouring yourself in a carapace you have made.

06 February 2007


We had the first PLF meeting for 2007 on Monday. Very pleasant it was too. The highlight was a pipe tobacco that's unchanged since they first started making it in 1792, which I smoked through a clay pipe bearing the features of William Shakespeare:

02 February 2007

Kitchen tiles

01 February 2007

Messing about

visitors since 29 March 2004.