Desperately seeking…

I am aware that I’m a slow blogger. Except by definition I’m glacial.

I’m pretty prolific when it comes to drafting posts though. There are lots of draft posts in the pot. 29 draft posts abandoned. This is one of them.

I came across this never-finished post from February last year. The title ‘Desperately seeking..’ pertained to gaps/wants/needs in my art practice and here is the list I wrote back then:

Technical foci looking for a SUBJECT:
oils, layers, use of transparency, [representation of ] folds, fur, weaving

Expressive/aesthetic obsessions looking for a FORM:
Fibre (texture, pattern, colour), digital (layers, textures, objects), painting (surface, texture, objects, Pareidolia)

Symbols and images looking for a PERSONAL METAPHOR
Rabbit, flower, kikyo, moon, fish

At the time I was reflecting on what I was doing and wondering how to resolve some of the many threads that I was working on.

Post my exhibition SPIN I can look back on this list with some pleasure. I understand the things I was seeking then and can now say that I have found some solutions.

Regarding Technical foci looking for a subject: oils, layers, use of transparency, [representation of ] folds, fur, weaving
I continue to build technical skills. Back then I was testing how to achieve depth in my paintings, together with stylisation in representation of surface and form. Right now I am focused on using transparent layers in my oil paintings and continuing to develop mixed media layering in acrylic and collaged works. The subject matter I have found revolves around water, spherical forms and still life. These objects and materials are an obvious choice for technical studies. Here are some examples:


Regarding Expressive/aesthetic obsessions looking for a form: Fibre (texture, pattern, colour), digital (layers, textures, objects), painting (surface, texture, objects, Pareidolia)
This list of ‘things’ are endlessly intriguing me. I play with textures, patterns and shape in felted forms (I need to take good photos and will dedicate another post to that). My current digital works have more depth and detail and I am experimenting with dimensions and materials to better represent atmosphere, surfaces and objects. Digital and fibre forms have proved worthy to play out these obsessions.

Regarding Symbols and images looking for a personal metaphor: Rabbit, flower, kikyo, moon, fish
These symbols still appear throughout my works and have now been joined by new fetishes—such as pineapples, bugs, mist, stones, crows and the colour yellow. Through my series of digital works all these images have become compositional threads. But they’re more than just visual devices. These things appear and reappear in my real world. They appear in unexpected ways thereby always drawing attention to themselves. If some of my works border on the surreal it may be because the real and the imagined are dancing together through time. 


From all of this comes a new push to explore all these things further.

Deidhre Wauchop: Spirit Lichens

Deidhre Wauchop Spirit Lichens (WIP) Paper, acrylics and pencil on board

PS I don’t know what day this is of my 1000 days but I have a year to D-day!


My library

‘You are what you read’ said Oscar Wilde.

I don’t read much at the moment but at certain periods in my life I have read and read. There are four authors in my library that stand out as being influential over time:

  • Fay Weldon (in the 70s and 80s)
  • Margaret Atwood (90s and 00s)
  • David Mitchell (00s)
  • Haruki Murakami (90s to now)

Here’s a short thought about why I have read and read these particular authors. Apart from the fact that each author employs unique narrative structures and appeals to me visually, even filmically—many of their works are dystopian [definition: fictional writing used to explore social and political structures in ‘a dark, nightmare world.’] Their surreal spin on the world sparks my imagination.

I’m not reading at the moment—sadly, no need—dystopian society no longer needs to be imagined, just negotiated and somehow lived.

Gems in my reference library

But this post is really about the heroes of my library that I have used for inspiration for art, design and art direction since college days—the art and reference books that I return to again and again. The books that offer up something new at every glimpse. The books that soothe my scanner’s itch.

Here are four of my favourites:

J.G. Heck The Complete Encyclopedia of Illustration 1851 (Plate 7 Various Planetary systems)

This treasured tome has engravings illustrating mathematical, scientific, botanical, geographic, architectural and technological features known and recorded pre-modernism.


Japanese Design Motifs 1972 (front cover)

I love the abstraction of (predominantly) natural forms and the roundel in these family crests. I adopted the kikyōmon as part of my signature on art and craft works after our Japanese friend and guide, Ota-San said it would be OK to use it. The kikyō or balloon flower has personal significance for me.


Barbara Radice Memphis 1985

Memphis ideas, style and design was the 80s for me. What was not to love about the practice of using sign systems, styles, colours and decorative surfaces without concern for coherence or function? Apparently Memphis is having a bit of a resurgence.


Alexander Wied Bruegel 1980

The enigma that is Pieter Bruegel continues to fascinate me. His paintings are loaded with movement, fine detail and quirky surprises. Look into the crowded landscapes; read the genre narrative with allegorical meaning; acknowledge the minutiae of his time and culture, and be suspicious of the representation of utopia.

Which brings us back to dystopia. While Rome burns I’m making pretty pictures.


My SPIN exhibition opens 2 May 2019 at Creative Space Curl Curl. This is a joint exhibition with ICONIC by Michelle Arnott.