What’s the concept behind Alchemy Of Assemblage?

I love materials that have a past that has afforded them a character and interest with colour and a patina. I use pieces that are ‘found objects’ – an old sign, a plank of wood, pieces of corroded metal sheet, even discarded road barriers. I appreciate that they had a purpose and that that purpose no longer exists; I then take the piece and attempt to work it back to life by using it as an inspiration and an important component in creating an artwork. Along with the composition and layering, these then are the three dimensions, combined, creating an ‘alchemy’ to engage the viewer through its form and layers and the realisation of its elements not only having a past, but reborn, it becomes new again.

You have a background in graphic design – how did you come to be an artist?

I started as what was known then as a commercial artist (now the term is graphic artist). I designed and was responsible for the front-of-house billboards for the movie currently on show at each of the Hoyts movie theatres Australia-wide as well as exhibition displays and advertising billboards. In those days it was all hand-painted, but the process now is large-format digital printing. I possess the skills to form and hand-paint typography; it was in learning these skills that I formed an ability to create layouts and colour palettes. I often introduce typography elements by hand-painting to complete the form.

Who and what inspires your art?

I look for abstracted composition, balance, form and layers with strong colour palettes. I have found the following artists to be masters of this: Jasper Johns, his fantastic use of typography and graphics; Robert Rauschenberg, his use of found objects is so quirky; Wassily Kandinsky, the father of abstract; and of course the Australian (although originally from New Zealand) Rosalie Gascoigne – her works are a testament to being succinct with what is being communicated to the viewer.

Is there a medium, form or material you’re most comfortable working in – or is it about the challenge?

It can be metal or timber and it is definitely about the challenge.

How do you hope your audience responds to your work – or is it hard to bear the viewer in mind when you’re in the creative process?

I love the thought that my work is appreciated and accepted as a meaningful contribution to the psychology of people’s wellbeing in their homes.

Alchemy of Assemblage is showing at Platform 72, The Living Mall, Central Park from Saturday May 17 until Sunday June 1.

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