Saturday, 15 September 2007

Big rock, bigger sky.

Burleigh Rocks One - 1984 - Acrylic and Pencil on paper 41 x 64cm

In the last year of High School (1979) while living on the Gold Coast, I took a series of photos on the old SLR for an art class. Most of the series was based on the beach area around Burleigh Heads.

Up high, over looking the beach, hidden away from view is a collection of massive hexagonal, oblong boulders. I think they are basalt boulders. They are lodged at oblique angles to each other forming nooks, crannies and caves, amongst the various trees and bushes. The texture of the rock is sort of blotchy and crystal like, in various tones of black and white.

The above drawing was done from one of these black and white photos. This viewpoint is from underneath looking towards the sky. This massive rock was wedged into the surrounding rocks like a surfboard sticking out of the sand. If your standing on the rock, looking down, it is like being on a diving board facing the sea, with a direct drop down a steep incline to the rocky beach below.

I drew about half a dozen of these rock drawings in black and white. My main focus at that time was on patterning and stylizing. I attempted a few colour versions and a few largish paintings as well, but for some reason found it hard to translate the texture and composition. Over the years various elements from those drawings have become incorporated into my work.

It's like, one stumbles along having little jabs at different things, collecting bits and pieces, experimenting, winning or losing, but moving forward. Eventually, like a bower bird you build a massive nest. But, still you know there is more, and become obsessed with trying to collect that ultimate blue object, the sky.


  1. This looks like an emerging thing - a Howie emerging from a hardwear store, seeing the sky and far horizons, encountering living things, rising above the metropolistic mass of hardware johnnies, a pupea swollen to bursting, new energy writhing, about to split and release to the sky the brilliant jewelled dragonfly within.

  2. Sounds a bit messy Roj.

    Do you really want the sky David or is it the rocks which are really worth having?

    I like these drawings because they are not trying to be something they aren't(no grand concept).

    They seem to say "I as an artist have these eyes and what they see fascinates me, please if you can share my vision".


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