Melbourne, Australia


September. 2011

The few good ideas I've had, seem to occur at the point of where consciousness meets sleep or Hypnagogia as its been defined, so I often sleep with a notepad next to my bed in an attempt to avoid that's the best idea I've had only to wake up in the morning wandering what the hell that thought was, as I have on many occasions. It was one of these states where I was turning over in my mind the jar fulls of nozzles I'd kept from many of the cans I'd emptied painting walls and canvases, going through hundreds and hundreds of caps, many of which I'd kept with the thought that at some point they'd come in useful for something just what would that something be. I was using a made up mental game of contrasts where I think of a subject or object and try and find its nemesis or compliment. It was while playing this mental game of contrast and thinking of these brightly coloured, quickly disposable, spray caps that I drew the analogy to a butterfly, they too are brightly coloured and short lived, I liked the burn bright aspects to both, the comparison triggered the thought of how I could bring them together to form one, like a child pulling the wings off a bug, I figured I could remove the butterfly wings and bond them onto the nozzles, matching the colours of the butterfly to the colours of the blocked spray caps. It was one of those ideas that whilst it worked in my head, until put into physical practice I had no way of knowing if it actually would. So I brought some dead butterflies and started pulling the wings off very delicately and bonding them to the caps, matching the colours as I went, the reality was they worked better in the flesh than in my head!

At the time I was working on the monumental skull pile for the City of Angels piece, so there was quiet literally hundreds of small cast skulls sitting around in the studio, it didn't take any great leap of imagination to paint the skulls to match the colours in the butterflies, putting the larger wings onto the skulls, really articulating Burn Bright. I'd been invited to Melbourne, Australia to have a show at Metro Gallery, realising that Australia had a far greater wealth of bugs and butterflies, I decided it would make the perfect showcase for this body of work, as it followed my show Going Nowhere Fast I continued elements of that show into this one, further pushing the Over Me, Over You canvases, although this time I would integrate the canvases into a wall painting and installation, the idea was to elude that to the general public the gallery works appeared to have been defaced but as opposed to this damaging the paintings, it has in fact made them better as a result, using the visual dialogue that appears in the streets, albeit in a gallery. I'd tie it altogether by revealing the culprit, a paint brush helper that has cut loose from his master, a little nod and poke at myself and my past.