“Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.”
― G.K. Chesterton
Working from home and being able to consider and appreciate everything around me is something I have long yearned for. I have time to look at forms and colours and surfaces and envision imagery and textures in artworks drawn from the everyday.
I used to stare at the tiny tiles in my shower and see endless pictures – faces, animals, ghosts, landscapes. I have a stash of these tiles, saved after renovating the house. The ‘square series’ is a body of painted work (not sure whether any will be digital) that is inspired by these engrossing little tablets.
“Thinking about lunch. Smoked salmon with pedigreed lettuce and razor-sharp slices of onion that have been soaked in ice water, brushed with horseradish and mustard, served on French butter rolls baked in the hot ovens of Kinokuniya. A sandwich made in heaven”
― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance
Our trip to Japan has been a huge inspiration for work:
The presentation and taste of food in Japan is beyond comparison with anything in my experience. I thought I loved Japanese food—but what we get in Australia, in general, is not really Japanese food. We were lucky enough to have kaiseki-style food in Kyoto, Kanazawa, Takayama, Hakone and Nikko. You run out of superlatives to describe the feasts. But it is really the presentation that inspires me—shape, form, composition and colour—a feast for the eyes!
Traditional images and crafts continue to inspire. The Japanese aesthetic includes beautiful crafting, with amazing textures, colour combinations and acceptance, if not reverence for small imperfections or oddities as part of the design.
The notion of ‘Kawaii’ or ‘cute’ is a unique thread through Japan’s visual culture. I want to explore this much further. Kawaii can be quite gentle and girly at one extreme, at the other it’s gothic. It’s cute with a twist, and an addiction!
“Every man has a specific skill, whether it is discovered or not, that more readily and naturally comes to him than it would to another, and his own should be sought and polished. He excels best in his niche - originality loses its authenticity in one's efforts to obtain originality.”
― Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile
My husband, Chris, is a master of his craft – building and painting aircraft, armoured and fantasy figure models. His work is well-represented across the internet and in modelling magazines and books. He is a ‘realist’ with developed and unique airbrushing techniques. Few people know he also was a designer for Lego and created some of the most memorable Lego sculptures for the Australian ‘World’ shows. We tracked down his dragon recently – you can see it at Legoland Florida in the dragon roller coaster ride. Chris has also been a photographer and darkroom technician and has captured some wonderful stormy scenes from our house. His attention to detail and form are a constant inspiration.