I’ve just gone through the most excruciating gestation for an artwork that I’ve ever gone through. And I’m still not sure the experience is over yet.
It started fairly straight-forward enough. The place I live now is in the Australian countryside, on a river surrounded by vast paddocks grazed by black cattle.
Ever since I moved here ten years ago, every now and then I glimpse a figure outside in the darkened windows. It’s not a reflection. It’s a horned man.
The current series I’m working on is about suburban life – the strange things people get up to in their backyards, so I thought I’d create a piece with this figure in it.
I wanted the head to be a mask, so I made it deliberately boxy and homemade. And for some reason, because the man is naked, I made the head equine.
Next, the collage.
Something wasn’t right. The man’s skin was too dark. It clashed with the fence so I reworked the fence to be a white picket fence. But it still wasn’t right, so I reworked the man’s body into yellow and green. I was happy with the body and the barbecue now.
But the head wasn’t working for me so I scratched it out, rubbed it back and reworked it with the head I see outside my windows at night time. The classic minotaur.
And so this is where I’m at. I’m still torn by the piece, I think I still have to rework the head a little more to make it lighter and more defined.
I know I just have to keep going. When I am hating something, I just have to keep going, even if I destroy the artwork in the end. By forcing myself to progress forward sometimes I get something just right and magical.