TREK

Premise for the body of works

A homage to journeys taken as possibly a trek through the Himalayan region also known as the Eight-thousanders’. It about the perilous outcomes for those who venture past their limits. This piece’s focus is on the sense of adventure. As a photographic depiction on side A illustrates through experience of the riding a classic motor cycle along the winding roads is an exhilarating form of entertainment but with a profound sense of mystery as ancient relics and walkers emerge from now where.

Emergent elemental forms

The view of the work from a distant is abstract. However though upon closer inspection figurines emerge. These have been intentionally created, or through serendipity, and attempt to capture the travel sense of dislocation that can happen on trips through the region. These works have a foundation in my earlier art practice around yogi forms that were developed as a way to explore variable states of endurance.

A mixed media four sided artwork.

A four sided multi media construct using fibreglass core with fabric prints, oil paint, marble, resin caste, photographic prints, lino cut sections, air dry clay, steel periphery and and wire. This practice began in 2008. The series of prints along the side depicts the dry tropical zone of Australia and its semi desert trails navigated with a motorcycle and bicycle too.

Trek is a work in progress.

The works have been in progress since 2018 with bibs and bobs added as a vision emerges along the line of a theme that covers a few pieces. It began as a material arts practice around 2006 and has gradually transformed but still includes marble as a feature within the works.

Collage methodology

The layered composition

A process of gluing materials is fundamental to collage methodology. The blending of shapes, lines, colour -and in my practice – as well as photographic object are in a sense, primordial constructs of subjective representations of reality.

The process of painting and scraping off sections is a way of mirroring the lived experience. Artwork seems to resemble the person as a multi layered existential qualitative field. A field that embraces features of the world as well as rejecting those very same features as a paradox of self hood. However its through the use of resin that properties of light are harnessed so to give the photographic object its 3D effect.

Collage methodology used in works

Lines

Lines are fundamental to the composition. An area that interests me are the intersection of lines. Lines act as a metaphor around binaries, such as choice verses determinism.

Shape

The notion of shape seems unavoidable. However, a contrast between shapes suggests a sense of possible movement or stillness. A rectangular shape entails movement towards the earth, contrasted with a triangle. The guitars in the images below are illustrative of symbolic and graphical movement. Associative symbols from popular culture combined with the graphical can convey a form of movement.

Guitars are part of travel objects from a trip to Indonesia

Value in collage methodology

A play on light to dark contrast correlates with the elemental photograph so to nudge the gaze, towards various elements within the composition. This focusing devise is used in extreme vignetting which I explore in one of my short animations. A depiction emerges as a dominant or subdominant feature through the play of light and dark. The image below has high key value at the boundary that sets a contrasting value to the lower key value within. The face is the lowest key value which brings a mystery as its like an after image.

Colour

The split complement works well if it corresponds to the photographic element. So a resemblance with the central photographic depiction is important for qualities of harmonic composition, if intended to be the artistic style. It may even be monochrome, or a complement, or the not so popular split complement, but coherence is key.

Collage methodology and Pattern

There can be a somewhat randomness to the methodology when carving into stone unless the sculptor goes to the pains of having a detailed plan. The method I take is a free associative approach. Its a process of imprinting human action as far removed from mechanistic and digital forms of expression. Its a way to mitigate the impact through modes of abstraction . The closest to date in a digital sense might be the use of animation on my photographic depictions.

Movement

Repeating patterns infer movement. The latest series of mixed media have multiple attachment points for hanging , and so enabling movement based on tension in relation to position.

Gradation

The jagged to smooth lines become evident within the composition, that is in part a result carving sections. The elemental nature of carving has a digital counterpart that sits along side the genera of film art. This is correlated to the animating properties that might be carved out from the original depiction resulting in a plethora of transitions. Gradation as a higher order concept informs material and digital layers to emerge properties. So hue can have a property of value for a smooth transition. The use of of split compliments has properties of contrast for a jagged effect. This builds complex associations and relationships between layers making for semantic webs to emerge forms of life.

Catropical

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Tropical cat theory

A syncretic art media composition

The diptych core being fiberglass with the printed fabric of tropical cat, overlock stitched onto the centre. A surface application of tonal colour is built up with adhesives powder. The fiberglass has an application of resin and a steel frame attached through multiple nodes of wire. Various paints are applied, from oils, acrylic, and fabric paint to the robust resin paints added to fiberglass that forms the border over the built-up clay sections, which also surround the photographic prints of rainforest birds. Historical reference to earlier works inform this series.

A theory about endangered species, and its relation to art

Schrodinger’s cat theory qua tropical cat is set within the resin depiction as contingent. Its contingency is dependent on refraction and reflection. So from an observer perspective, each observer (bird) has a probability function of a cat encounter. Therefore each bird is both dead and alive. 

Philosophy of figurative abstraction.

This diptych has resemblances appearing as cats and birds either side.

Environmental interpretation

Endangered species and tropical cat.

The notion of native birds being endangered species threatened by feral cats also plays a part in this work. The cat is treading on a chain between the birds. The print photographic depictions are object photographic. These prints are covered in resin and form an obscure magnification of rainforest birds that inhabit Australia’s cassowary coastal region. 

Abstraction as a tropical cat probability

Abstraction with string emerging from the side eludes the popular notion of string theory in line with particle physics. The possibility of subatomic particles moving through the diptych riffs on Schrodinger’s cat theory. The colour abstraction a probability function of the diptych as an art coin to be flipped as cat/birds or abstract.

KIT-UP (2021)

KIT-UP is a multi compositional syncretic media artwork.

KIT UP has a sculptural sense with four compositional perspectives. The depth aspect of this piece is primarily text-based. However, there are swirls of resin on both sides. There is a photographic paper print and, on the flip side, a fabric print on the larger sides.

KIT (essential items) UP ( for travel)

Side (height and width) A depicts the desert traveler. The essential items for a camel are food and lots of water. Surrounding the depiction are layers of paint, silk, wax, and clay. This on a metaphysical interpretation relates to being within the platitudes of everyday activities such as eating and sleeping.

Side (height and width) B has multiple layers of paint that is separated by resin where at the lower most layer emerges a fabric print of a street mural. The depiction is that of an inverted man doing a salute that resembles a protest to the rat race. However there is a metaphysical component depicting the sacred through transcendence of objective awareness.

Kit up: a tropical style

The basic sense of this artwork is tropical. The dry tropics is denoted through the camel (image taken in Rajasthan, India). The human figure is barely clothed and has a sense of being in the tropical heat, given the image was taken in the back streets of Bali, Indonesia. These object photographs form a symbiotic relation to the surrounding media as artefact.

A traveller theme

The camel is the icon of nomadic desert travel, carrying the essential kit for the arduous journey across arid lands. The swills of yellows denote the fragments of desert as a psychological factor for a traveller across such terain. The human figure is in an acrobatic inverted pose whilst doing a salute. The essential kit for a street artist social activist would be the stensil that allows quick desemination of image to surface.

Nature contrasting culture

There is a tradition in contemporary photography of contrasting nature and culture. The early 20th century photographer Lucien Clergue explored themes such as carrion eaters of the animal world, and acrobatics of the human world.

What’s the connection?

So as a painterly sculptural construction the material substance is linked to a culture of the industrial complex ( given the industrial components like steel and fibre glass) and to that end simulates an acrobatic style as media such as dried clay cling to steel but is covered by resin. However the naturalist gaze might be glimpsed from the surface features as referents to raw emotion and wonder lust. A further reference to travel and wonder lust can be surveyed about on a retrospective of the artworks from the 1990’s.

ALPINE HIGH

Himalayan art series: 1

Inspiration for Alpine High

Travel to even the lower sections of the Himalayan region is a minor revelation in itself. The vistas, people, and housing reveal a perspective of an almost otherworldly sense of place. Himalayan art encourages atmospheric hues of the alpine region that depict this region from a compositional aspect. The primary challenge is to create a sense of the rugged terrain. A methodology of building up and scouring the surface. The layering of paint. Multiple applications of resin on photo images begin to reveal the Alpine perspective. A retrospective of art and travel from the 1990’s gives a backdrop to the Himalayan series.

Himalayan art. Side A:

The thickset frame forms the basis for supporting a supervening pattern along the edge of the rectangular frame. A resin block covers painterly lino cut situated central of the sculptural painterly. The lino cut out depicts the Himalayan region, which vaguely emerges, as if from a deep misty blizzard swirling about the glacial peaks. On the right side is a resemblance of a meditator facing the mountain. The village at the bottom left traversed with a bike.

Himalayan art: Side B

Silk forms the backdrop for an animated depiction of a climber. There is a correlation between siding A as the figure appears to straddle possibly a glacial craves. The notion being to test out all human instincts for survival. If side A is the locale’s sense, side B is the sense of human and nature as in the romantic tradition post neoclassicism.

Construction of Alpine High

Use of resin for Himalayan art.

There are two functions for the resin. The first is to give a protective light coat applied to certain paints and materials. However, I usually paint over the resin again and then scratch, scour into the surface. The following function of resin is to create a pronounced magnification effect. Resin poured into an enclosed area, so a magnification of area. Within a color field of the entire work, this technique of thick resin build-up has a calming aesthetic for the whole piece by giving a place for the eye to meditate amongst the business of color.

CLIMB

Arid climb

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

General overview of artwork.

A robust weighty two sided artwork. Arid Climb Side A: Multiple layers of paint, putty, fabric and resin on a steel framed fibre glass plate. The human outline abstract form has as its torso a resin covered print. This is a photograph depicting a palm trunk. There is a vague outline of a rope that attaches to a climber which happens to be the producer of this work. Hence the Text on the left side: CLIMB.

Arid Climb Side B: The outline of vintage farm machine (photographic fabric print) is covered with various painterly pigments. It varies from oils and acyrilics, fabric paints and ink. The resin covered images are that of termit mound and the edge of a small town in arid zone of Queensland (Almaden).

About observing place

Arid climb is in part to do with palm climbing, and the nature of the dry tropical zone. Its part of a series about the arid region of Queensland. Another artwork explores mining relics. The embedded features are three photographic prints. Themes being to do with movement by way of vegetative, human and insectoid. Travel by bike along Australian East coast influenced the artworks on arid landscapes.

About two side artworks

Modes of representation

There is a rationale to producing content of similar quality on both sides a plate. Firstly its about taking advantage of the material properties of the medium which is a fibre glass core. Secondly its about semantic content. The references which are hidden from view. Thirdly there is a painterly sculptural element to the construction. I find that fusing these elements together fits well for syncretic gnostic artforms.

STAMP STATE

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Stamp state dry tropical

A steel framed with fibre glass core suitable for being hung outdoors. There are depictions on both sides so open spaces such as archways give optimal perspectives. The name STATE STAMP references the mining Battery Stamp as well as its historical connotation to the dry tropical mining in the region. A retrospective of early artworks from the 1990’s informs interests in the dry tropics deep history.

Compositional features.

Printed fabric of photographs (as object photos) of the battery stamp are printed on fabric then sewn onto the fibre glass core. An image of the battery stamp cut out of lino then covered in layered resin forms a resemblance of the relic. Wire hoops are embedded into the fibre glass. Steel rods are threaded through all four sides to create a fixed armature. After the rods are in place soft tissue fibre glass is embedded between the rods and print which is then hardened with resin and layered with paints and clear casting resin.

Thematic correlations.

Relation to the dry tropics, North Queensland.

The notion of dry tropical art is implicit within the works. The colours resemble the grasses of the dryer region. A tiny photograph print is embedded near the figure to resemble a hidden element to mining enterprise. The Battery Stamp forms part of a series that explores the relation of the ‘will to power’. Philosophically, State Stamp forms a personal endurance, relating to globalization and its discontents.

State Stamp as a art historical reference.

The story of the battery stamp being carted over the ranges begins as part of my traveling muse artworks series. The settler culture from Europe and Asia came to make their fortune at sites like the Palmer River, however it was John Moffatt brought in heavy equipment such as the Battery Stamp. This has a reference to dry tropical mining in that the set and setting is established in a ecosystem.

This became the mining empire near Irvinebank that was latter bought by the Queensland Government after Moffits retirement.

Angor to Zillmanton: stories of North Queensland’s deserted towns by Colin Hooper

Mask over

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Musk up as a conceptual work

A response to mask up and over. Firstly to investigate its function as a mask the reference to political voice, freedom to express, and the role of advocacy as a public good. The side with abstract designs is a flip side to world politics authoritarian modes since the pandemic began in early 2020. The civic freedoms to travel repressed to a degree unknown to many generations, even boomers.

Material composition of mask up art

Fiberglass core with fabric and painted print, linocut. A photograph taken in 2015 while traveling through Indonesia of a street mural and then printed, layered with resin, and painted (oil, textile, ink, water-based paints). The steel frame permits multiple modes of attachment and angles of the work. This is part of a current series of works. There is a retrospective of artworks from the early 1990’s that reference the mouth.

Syncretic

The syncretic aspect of mask up is to do with blending of aesthetic styles in line with functional of a medical nature. The depiction itself has a bold text style that if worn in public would be a kind of advocacy for the new rules. A key conceptual element with syncretism is to borrow and blend. So with any rapid shift in cultural norms, which is in this case a global trend can bring up interesting novel modes of expression. This artwork is a way for me to investigate the semantics of mask as a global functional modal for bio power and control.

Gnostic

This relates to the philosophy of possible states of affairs, in that we can image things having gone differently from the onset of this pandemic. The gnostic element is that the we seek to know this non visible form. It almost a spiritual form by token of not being an organism, but then also not being an inorganic compound. So the artwork plays with this grey area of the syncretic gnostic elemental nature of this event and the gaze from behind the mask.

How do I approach a mixed media conceptual artwork?

GIG

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Music GIG is a syncretic gnostic artwork

Music gig as an artwork consists of a steel frame with fibre glass core gives the work a robust sense. That allows the artwork to be weather resistant as well as hung at multiple angles and in those uncanny locations. A process of sublimation printing enabled the side A depiction has been covered with a resin for further protection.

The work reflects features of the tropical north.

Tropical North Queensland has its music gig culture similar to the capital cities where dream power remains the guide to many an artist. Side B depicts a photographic element of a bird in flight along with a figure reaching out that represents the animated nature of the event in non human terms. There is an article on object photography that dives into the metaphysics of this art practice.

The concept of syncretic gnostic.

Syncretic

The notion that music has many influences and so becomes a blend of styles. The core cultural tenant of syncretism is that in general in times of peaceful transitions religions blend with local traditions as is the case with the major world religions. It is in this sense that artforms reflect this transition including languages that change over time.

Gnostic

The implicit transcendence associated with music and ritual leads to a new kind of knowledge. This can be associated with a conscious awareness of being a kind of perceiving subject, along with a deep tribal connection to people and musical styles and tastes. An music event is a special for it gives a sense of freedom from the usual daily routine. It is in this spirit I created the artwork as a homage to youth and musical transcendence. A retrospective of artwork from the early 1990’s gives a backdrop to this artwork.

Is it within a current body of works

The project/gallery has a collection or recent works.

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Tropical wall art

Tropical art as a form of naturalism

The notion of multi compositional art objects‘ is an expression of tropical art. The ‘muti’ refers to finding multiple objects in a locales. The compositional aspect is to do with placement on a medium. My recent foray is the building up layers of paint and the placement of images and objects throughout the object which is the core armature structure.

Though briefly, the natural and urban phenomenon share essential features. If essences in nature and urban are interdependent then representational preferences based on the philosophy of essences can influence the choice for outdoor art. For example, a materialist would have a distinct philosophy contrasted to an idealist. Angeles for one might be a modernist abstract for another.

Tropical art for the outdoors.

The actual term ‘syncretic’ indicates a gradual fusion of stuff. It could be properties of nature, but also human culture, ideas, artforms. How does this relate to outdoor art? Well outdoor art is prone to environmental accretions.

Vegetative syncretic

Consider the basic tropical shelter of being under a large mango tree. It offers both coolness and dryness if the downpour brief. The pruning of the tree offers a sculpture in itself as a sort of outdoor arty sculpture experience, without being overly ostentatious.

Tropical shimmers.

Light reflecting off power lines, sky scrapers, and the road seems to intrude on the picturesque. However consider soft light reflecting off a urban raw sculptural work.

Foggy light post tropical downpour.

Foggy light obscures our vision, specially after a tropical downpour. So such phenomenon functions as a multiple realizability principle. It of no surprise that Australian art historical perspectives are arrived at from distinct regional locales within this vast continent.

The travel bug for syncretic art.

Outdoor art has probably its greatest fan base for the traveller. The Travel For Art post explores this topic in further detail. However the core message of the article is a sojourn frees the mind. That is frees the mind from platitudes. Whatever those platitudes may be if at all, travel is the form of a syncretic art transforming the cognitive mosaic.

Outdoor art tropical: philosophical assumptions.

Nature of perception for the tropical.

The phenomenology of perception can be based on a Humes account ( David Hume 1711-1776)) where relative size, colour, transparency is known through direct experience of sense datum.

Humes principle that any term in order to be meaningful must be associated with some experienced impression.

The EMPIRICISTS. R.S. Woolhouse.

The empiricist claim of direct perception leads to questions around lived experience. However, this brings up the question of authenticity.

Art of combinations: early modern philosophy as forerunners to outdoor art.

The preoccupation for seventeenth-century philosophy begins with Rene Descartes’s (1596) central meditations of first philosophy. Substance dualism and methodological doubt feature combinations of mind/body and skepticism/belief binary logic as speculation art forms. 

The two sided approach of art takes up this speculation as a tribute to the early modernist philosophers’ meditations on the ‘new method’ of binary logics.

Gottfried .W. Lebniz (1646) contribution to the ‘new method’ was to show how complex concepts can be reduced to elementary concepts, such as the zero and one binary.

The art of combination is… the science which treats of the forms of things or of formulae in general. That is, it is the science of quality in general, or of the like and the unlike, according as various formulae arise from the combinations of a,b,c etc, whether they represent quantities or something else.

The Rationalists. John Cottingham

What has early modern philosophy to do with outdoor art?

The genera of outdoor art fundamentally are about objects of humanistic production. The art object, by interacting with the environment, changes in both content and form. It would be as if the art interacts with the environment in a syncretic sense. That is through accumulation, and in due course, the art changes from its original form. The artwork as representing the mind pits itself against nature. Its defiant posture resembles Descartes’ mind/body combination, and of art movements historically like that of Romantic neo classicists. Furthermore thinkers such as John Locke places art as a mode of complexity of humanism, so taking art inside and away from the outdoors in a sense.

Outdoor art and the philosophy of discrete essences.

John Locke (1632-1704) theory consisted of real and nominal essences. Locke thought of real essences composed of primary and secondary qualities. Primary qualities belonged to the category early modernists called ‘substance’ (Locke and contemporaries thought of substance akin to early atomists, also known as the corpuscular theory). Secondary qualities belonged to general sensible perceptions of objects. Nominal essences were standard definitions of things. Based on this account, real essences are challenging because primary qualities are not perceivable and secondary properties are superficial by token of depending on primary attributes of substance.

Real essences and the implication for the art object.

The more in-depth analysis of outdoor art objects takes a closer study of Locke’s theory. However, in summary, art objects, according to the Lockean account, belongs to human modes of understanding rather than the world of things.

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Mixed media conceptual arts in Townsville, FNQ.

Mixed media dry tropics artist.

A mixed media artwork by Artist Italo GIardina based in FNQ, Townsville.

The ideal locale for mixed media conceptual. Set within a light industrial zone near to Townsville. So this city also gives ample excess to country.

What makes this mixed media?

  • an interdependency of media for conceptual purposes.
  • the use of fine artist oils to industrial fiberglass.
  • a combination of resin as well as natural fiber and stone.
  • also photographic elements through a layer of resin.

Photographic elements.

  • a consideration of various points of view.
  • set of sequences for narrative purposes.
  • an overarching conceptual element.
  • function of print as figurative manifest image over the scientific abstractionism.

Is there a general article on the philosophy of mixed media art?

Art there any artworks about current events