These works are the result of genuine collaboration with the landscape. They are literally constructed from light, earth and flesh. I love this technique of lumachrome glass printing for its ability to make dead animals and birds seem alive again. It is light alone that manifests these colours and shapes- not paint or anything that can be completely controlled.
I have largely invented this process, which involves arranging blood, clay, sticks, leaves, seeds, resin, ochres, etc., with road-killed animals or birds, on light-sensitised paper. Exposed 24 to 36 hours, while the sun arches east to west, fibre papers produce surprising arrays of colour. Over this I layer cliche-verre plates coated with resists of wax or paint, scratched with wire to create lines.
Sometimes I run electric currents over these plates to produce crystals in the ochre. For finer detail, I use chemigram variants, painting compounds like selenium or copper chloride directly onto feathers, scales or fur. I have called this Lumachrome glass printing because light produces colours in the emulsion (Lumachrome) and I use layered glass plates.
My process is different, adaptive, for each print. If an animal is still bleeding, I paint its blood into the image during exposure. Ochres, seeds, sticks, and other materials, are sourced where the animal or bird was found. If maggots and flies appear, their tracks are incorporated into the work. When the print is complete, the creatures are respectfully buried.
It’s been a late start this year – too much time spent on the motorcycle and not enough in the art studio. But here is my first offering for the year.
On the curve of a desert track, a motorcycle hums in sand, wheels spinning, stars lifting from yinirnti and bloodwood trees. And Ned is flying through the night’s vast, along the sky-roads of sparrowhawks.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram, drawing. Fallen Collared Sparrowhawk, acacia twigs and branches, sand, seeds, wax, graphite and metal salts on fibre paper. Exposed 38 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 70cm x 58cm (editions of 10)
Juliette, who had once been a gosling, explodes in stars over Braidwood, on her way to becoming a sun.
Lumachrome glass print, chemigram. Stillborn gosling, blood and household chemicals on fibre paper. 14 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 70cm x 70cm (editions of 10)
Fred climbs shifting planes of wind, over Mount Killawarra, in the body of an iridescent night parrot.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram, drawing. Smoke-killed parrot with grass-tree resin, clay, insect legs and crayon, on fibre paper. Exposed 22 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 70cm x 41cm (editions of 10)
Night lizards, motionless above the Northern Tanami– stars falling around them, the warm air lifting from ochre and Sturt’s desert rose. This is where my heart lives.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram, chemistry painting. Two fallen blue-tongued lizards, sand, crayon, wax, vegemite and resin on fibre paper. Exposed 29 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 70cm x 60cm (editions of 10)