I have always been fascinated by the city. It was the focus of my years of study at RMIT. It was just a walk out the door from the studio on Swanston street and there was my inspiration.
Many of my images are made from the vantage points of various rooftops around Melbourne including the QVB building, the State Library of Victoria the Melbourne Town Hall and looking out towards the docklands.
Life on the rooftops seems surreal, stage like and still. The buildings appear like toy boxes stacked against each, shaped in various sizes and in a variety of shades of greens, whites, yellow, reds, blues and pinks and filled with tiny holes throughout. Some reflect others, some tower above while others hide, silent in the shadows.
People seem insignificant from up above and often I exclude them in my images. This seems to highlight the alienation that one sometimes feels in a metropolis. Despite this alienation one can’t help but see the city as an awesome human achievement. It is proof of life. Evidence of civilisation. A human statement.
The noise of the city thumping in the background keeps me working to it’s beat. I wait for a crane to be in just the right position and then I quickly scratch away to capture the scene as the crane halts, aesthetically poised in relation the stoic State Library rooftop or the science-fiction
appearance of the cone of the Melbourne Central construction.
I often work live on site as this gives me the immediate response that fuels my work and maintains a freshness that only working live has.
I work mainly on on .9 mm thick copper plates. Often I will carry my largest plates which are over a metre by a metre and a half and lay them on the rooftop and work away. I use a sharp drawing tool with a carbide tip and scratch into them with the same motion you might use with a pencil as well as a time with a stabbing fisted grip to obtain the most powerful, soft and blurry lines.
Back in my studio, I add ink to the copper where the grooves I have made collect the ink and the areas where there are no grooves remain white or greyish depending on how hard I wipe it off.
I then place on top of the inked up image a piece of beautiful paper specific to printmaking called Velin Arche which is 100% cotton and made in France. I then run it through the press and produce a print from the plate. This is the most exciting part as you really don’t know what you have done until this point.