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Remembering Top Arts 1995

Being selected for Top Arts was both a surprise and delight at the time, some 20 years ago now. I must say, without the passion and initiative of my then Art Teacher, I don’t think I would have been aware of the opportunity at all, so to him I am very grateful.

I still remember walking into the National Gallery of Victoria on Opening Night. An intimidating grey monolith: fortress-like, complete with moat. To see my painting hung on its distinguished walls amongst such Masters was humbling and thrilling.

I went on to study Fine Art at a tertiary level; majoring in painting and minoring in photography. I then pursued filmmaking, which lead to working abroad, on the road behind a camera with comedians, animators, and advertising agencies.

Through all this, I had been tinkering with cardboard as a medium to realise some of my elaborate two-dimensional drawings into sculptures. Some years before, an architect friend had introduced me to this unremarkable material, which he used to conceptualise his structural designs. I instantly connected with its unassuming nature, tactility and appropriateness for my work.

I returned to post-graduate study at the Victorian College of the Arts, Film and Television School, specialising in Animation. There I created a short, stop-motion animated film fashioned entirely from cardboard, titled ‘Paper City Architects’. The film enjoyed success and screenings at both local and international film festivals. It went on to win numerous awards, notably a Dendy at the Sydney International Film Festival (2007) and was nominated for an AFI the following year.

In the process of developing my next animated film, I found myself straying and beginning to create singular pieces with each their own narrative. This lead to my first exhibition titled, ‘Sets for a Film I’ll Never Make’.

Since then my work has been featured in online and print publications including Vogue Living in Australia. My work is now exclusively exhibited at and represented by Andy Dinan at MARS Gallery – who brought my work to the world’s eye at Sydney Contemporary in 2013. I am currently producing a number of commissioned works, including my first large scale, metal fabricated sculpture titled, ‘The Inspector’.

MARS Gallery will be exhibiting my new work for a solo show titled ‘Principles of Aerodynamics’ in June this year, in their new purpose-built gallery space in Windsor. Right now I feel like I have come full circle.