Posts in Australia
My Exhibition, ENHANCED - words and pictures.

My first solo exhibition is up at the Last Drop Espresso Bar in Newcastle. If you're in town, I hope you'll drop in to have a look and try some of the best coffee in town and the yummiest all day breakies and lunches.  You can't miss it, there's lots of fairy lights.

The images are all still for sale!


So if you see a piece you just have to have or you'll just explode, or maybe just because you like it moderately even, drop me a line and lets see what we can arrange to bring you and my artwork closer together.

Later on, I'll let you know, I'm going to be putting these pictures up onto my Redbubble site where you will be able to buy the work in many variations. ie; framed photo prints, cards, posters etc and they're all exceptional quality.

To explain a bit of where I'm coming from and also to show some of my work, here are some excerpts from my catalog.

Digital Photography

This exhibition will be the first in a series of exhibitions of images of houses from down the length of Beryl Street in Broken Hill, an infamous old mining town in Western NSW and some 'Cartoony Art'.  Really, this is a series of photos of old houses with some intense colour manipulation.  Yet it could be argued that they represent so much more. The Cartoony Art does as well but from a different though complimentary angle.

We're always living through interesting times, to reference the old Chinese curse, but (apologies for mashing cliches), some are more equal than others.  There is some discussion at the moment about the decadence of our society and the decline of Western Civilization and gradual shifting of power; political and cultural, to the East. (As if the warming of the planet wasn't discomfort enough). How do enhanced images of old miners homes in a 19th Century mining town relate to the decline of our comfy civilization as we know it? And isn't that a big call for such a little exhibition? (I mean, who the hell are you Carroll?)

Broken Hill really is a very interesting place and the old miners huts, up to and over a hundred years old as they stand today, have been added to and enhanced by numerous occupants over the towns checkered history reflecting their cultural and ethnic heritage and in a lot of cases, personal artistic expression.  They are all examples of personal expression in a town where the very reason for it's existence is based upon hard physical labor and dreams of huge wealth but exist in a reality of drudgery, violence, sex and a lot of alcohol. (Probably a bit of love thrown in there too but lets not get pedantic.)

They are conscious and unconscious expressions of inner desires and introspection. I've amplified these expressions by saturating the existing colour in the images in an illustrative way as a comment on our own cultural narcissism. Narcissus was in love with his own image and disengaged from reality to engage with the illusion of self. An indication of a cultures decline is it’s propensity to indulge in this onanistic practice to the exclusion of everything else.  Why are we not considering what we can learn from the East and elsewhere to halt a decline into cultural, economic and political irrelevance, where the advantages of living in a liberal democracy become distant prosaic memories? Or they might just be some nice pictures of houses.

Digital Illustration, Cartoony Art

I call my illustrations Cartoony Art because I love the art work of animated movies, specifically those from Disney, Warner Brothers shorts and Pixar. I love the styling, colour and textures. It’s hard not to look at the artwork of Disneys `Sleeping Beauty’, art directed and in most cases rendered by illustrator, Eyvind Earle and not feel excited at the artistic potential of animation. Beyond the movies or on my television, I wanted to see work like it on my wall, and I wanted it to tell a story as well, for context and entertainment. These images, and there are many to come in different stages of completion, are in my mind, all from movies that have never been made, about characters who still have a story to tell.

There’s the insidious niceness of Dinky Bo Bo. From first viewing, he appears a lovable, childlike, sausage shaped character who is inexplicably found serving tea in the African Jungle by a lost French, Boy Scout Legionnaire. On eventually emerging from Africa’s dark heart many years later, desperate to get home to France and his beloved family estate and Tyre factory, he tries to sell Dinky in the back room of a seedy, smoke filled Moroccan Taverna. The buyer, a Sydney Greenstreet kind of character, plies him with a home cooked meal and a mug of an hallucinogenic cactus and mango juice to trick him into selling Dinky at a low price or better still, for nothing.  But pity those who ever come in contact with Dinky Bo Bo. He is a character of true evil.

Domestic Spuff is a riff on all of those old TV shows from the early years of Television like Mr Ed, Bewitched, I dream of Genie and My favorite Martian. Spuff is a visitor from another world who’s somehow got himself into a very intense relationship with a career minded single woman. We can only speculate as to the nature of their relationship but it seems as if this day is the day where it all hit the fan. The pressure of being constantly spied upon by nosy, `Kravitz’ style neighbors and the machinations of the seemingly urbane and sophisticated pet dog `Mr Tickle’ have conspired to bring Spuff and his beautiful lady to the very knife edge of their relationship and into the back seat of a waiting Taxi. And you thought you had troubles!!

 Candlelight Willy is an image of  Willy Wobble and Pepe, the mistakenly canned Tuna. Together they stumble blindly around the Austrian Alps keeping invaders away from their precious land. They own the best views in the world and sharing it with others is simply unheard of, especially when you’re blind.

...And here are some snap shots from the opening night.

Where ideas go to die

I have lots of ideas and most times, well, who am I kidding, all of the time, they just sit there piling up in the back of my mind. Gnawing on themselves until the day when someone else thinks of a similar or identical concept.  They pop up on the news or the Internet and I say to myself, 'goddammit!'  

So I'm going to put them out there now because beyond the obvious fact that my mind needs the room, there's absolutely no way I'll ever realize them to conclusion. But perhaps they might inspire someone reading them who will. The most I can expect in thanks is a nice comment saying 'thanks Rossco for your wonderful idea. I took and ran it and after further development, I'm triffically successful as a result and I couldn't have done it without you. What a guy!' 

So here's one item in my garage sale of ideas for anyone to take for their own and build on.

Movie idea:

The colony.
And nothing's really changed.
Australia in the near future. A fleet of modestly sized, beat up looking spaceships appear above The city of Sydney. There is the usual kerfuffle when events like this happen. Attempts are made to contact them, the worlds media descend on Sydney to cover the event, people either flee Sydney or alternately flock to it to welcome the extraterrestrial visitors. Soon one of the ships descends to land and from it a small group of large, pompously dressed, bright red aliens walk/ slither from it.  Ignoring the locals vainly trying to get their attention, they plant an elaborate, important looking shiny pole in the soil, salute it and then seem to congratulate each other. 

They signal to the other ships who move off around the country and land disgorging what look like Alien soldiers and a ragged bunch of other aliens who we soon come to learn, are convicts.  This is a story that literally mirrors the British colonisation of Australia.  A bungled first contact with the locals and the clumsy attempts to communicate with them. The aliens are arrogant and seem only to acknowledge the locals in the most anthropological and at best, condescending manner. Some however seem to genuinely engage with us and want to learn our language and customs. 

Mirroring the story of Bennelong, one of the locals is captured and 'tamed'. He is asked if he wants to go back to the aliens home world and does so when one of the ships leave. Alien disease wipes out many Australians and the country is quarantined from the rest of the world, there are cultural misunderstandings and locals and aliens loose their lives. The aliens seem also to have trouble living on our food and many lie close to death or dying of starvation in the streets of Sydney and around the country. Just as we seem to have reached an understanding between the two species, more ships appear above Sydney.