I think it important to say that I believe one of the most important aspects in the creative process is the process itself. After many years of painting, I found myself becoming more courageous, and open, to the exploration of new materials and technology, therefore able to stretch myself beyond the realms of paint brush and canvas.
Aside from conscious exploration of new materials and technology I have found that being alert and open to the benefit of ‘accidents’ occurring in my art-making processes have lead to some of the most profound breakthroughs in my work.
My creative medium changed to found art as a result of one such ‘accident’ in 1997. I was collecting driftwood, on a remote Victorian Coastline, with the intention of making furniture and stumbled upon vast amounts of plastic ocean debris. I was immediately affected by a whole new palette of colour and shape revealing itself to me; I had never seen such hues and forms before.
Since then, I have scoured Australian beaches for found objects which I bring back to my studio to sift, sort, and colour-code for my assemblages, sculptures and installations. As I work with them in my studio I become even more fascinated by the way they have been modified and weathered by the ocean and nature’s elements. My challenge as an artist is to take these found objects, which might on first meeting have no apparent dialogue, and to work with them until they speak and tell their story.
A review of my ‘Contemporary Landscapes’ exhibition (1999) by Catharina Hampson states:
‘Years of abstract /figurative painting… inspired by living organic forms often monochromatic, smoothed transition to his present exhibition of works. … His flotsam collection acquired at the same time as his driftwood evolved into a further dramatic phase. … ‘Contemporary Landscapes’ his mammoth task – afforded him a freedom to demonstrate aesthetic possibilities which radiate vitality and joie de vivre, uncommon to most artists deeply conscious of environmental issues’.