TG: Your work in Melbourne Now utilises an array of visual fragments in its compositional structure, what are the sources of these elements and is it important to you that they are recognisable to the viewer?
TM: I guess this is a constant in my work, that being the collection of imagery and materials. The process of which is collecting a heap of stuff whilst walking or riding around town. These more often than not will be debris from city streets or fabric prints, patches, refuse etc. from shops or people’s personal clothing. Any of these may take my fancy for one reason or another and will be a starting point to create a work that directly speaks of the found imagery or to obscure it to utilise its formal properties. I would like to think most would be able to recognise the source material in the work as it is the stuff we interact with on a daily basis, be that passively or with intent.
TG: In recent projects you have begun to introduce new material elements to your practice such as video and three dimensional objects, is this something that you will be continuing in future projects and, if so, can you discuss the reasoning behind this?
TM: Yeah I think so. I guess I still consider myself a painter of sorts but I have been trying to push the work into something that moves beyond the constraints I may have placed on myself previously. I also think I have begun to realise that some of the subject matter I am working with may lend itself to a more immersive experience. Kind of like a show bag for the masses, utilising mediums that is of the now and the past.
TM: The subject matter in your work often has a global focus, ranging from the overtly political or referencing more obscure subcultures. Is this a product of the personal or a broader interest into what makes these organisations or decision makers what they are?
TG: An interest in the meaning that symbols and icons contain lies at the core of my practice with a particular focus on the visual languages that represent authority and power. I am interested in how these representations, whether they are political, religious or corporate, have the ability to contain a variety of contrasting meanings.
TM: If you don’t mind me saying the work in Melbourne Now is a denim explosion. Is there a link between the fabric’s origin and the specific groups of people who see the fabric as an emblem of unity or rebellion?. And is the work a direct response to the mass production of denim and those who associate it with outlaw organisations?
TG: These works began with an interest in denim and its sociological history. I wanted to address the ‘outsider’ status the material once held with its association to the working class and outlaw groups such as biker gangs. I was also interested in the fact that denim is currently a massive global industry. Mutually Assured Destruction is an ongoing series of large, monochromatic, denim banners that explores these themes through the use of contradictory iconography and symbols. These works juxtapose loaded political and corporate iconography with cute and benign ‘clip art’ imagery. By confusing the clashing signifiers, the works collapse any power the images might inherently hold.