The experimentation with mixed media art began with a material arts practice. Although I travelled to the wet tropics where on the family estate situated in the wet tropics my studio is located in the dry tropical region began in 2008, and enduring to date (2022). It began a year subsequent to being in the wet tropics (2006/7). The wet tropics experience focused my stone sculpture practice form India in 2005. The theme at Mission Beach studio was simple. Take a 1970’s retrospective approach. This was realised through the Cassowary motif.
Mixed media art representations.
However I had an itch to explore modes of representation correlating to my philosophical quest (1998-2003). There were two broad themes that interested me: (a) Ecological spirituality and (b) consciousness. The way I thought to explore the former was through my old friend the Cassowary. However, I needed to extend it from a purely marble representation. The latter was a hard problem given the nature of the topic. However small steps were made in that direction through carving abstract forms that had subjective significance.
A material arts practice begins in earnest.
There was a sense of urgency to create a body of work that could satisfy my twenty five years of being in a spiritual phase. However there were numerous obstacles that lay in my path to any form of actualisation of content of thought to form. I came to gradually sense this was going to be a long journey. There was a sense that what happened when I became part of the yoga movement in the 1980’s would give an instant sense of community. Though this turned to be just the opposite in this new phase as I was a bit of an outsider. There is an unspoken rule of the visual arts career as correlating with taking a diploma in the visual arts and entering competitions or the equivilent. I sensed a soft push back and apart from reaching out to other creatives for tips and tricks its a solo arts practice rather than through a community guild of some type like I experience with the stone sculptors of Mamalapuram.
The material arts practice process
The method of marble sculpture that I developed in the wet tropics gradually transformed from stone sculpture to mixed media constructions. I used latex moulds encased in a fibreglass shell in order to produce copies of marble sculptures. The cement gave me flexibility to embed materials such as glass, steel, fabric, wood an whole objects.
Ecological forms as primordial’s
So it was from a series of basic cassowary forms that I developed a series of chimera. These were the eco spiritual entities that could represent philosophical negative existential conscious beings, along with the more ecological conservation forms of the cassowary. However I wanted to develop sculptures to capture complex conceptual constructs which extended on the notion of primordial’s. This was experimented with through a series of robust three dimensional sculptures and became the next project of interest.