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.
Beside the Kings Highway, Adam crosses over, leaving his mother’s pouch, the lights of citybound cars, snow gums, stark in winter. And the night will take him back.
Lumachrome glass print, chemigram. Still-born joey delivered from a road-killed wombat, with minimal photochemistry and household salt, exposed eight months and four days, under perspex in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 65cm (editions of 10)
On a night of meteor showers and lit uranium mines, Jeremy, released from his chickenhawk body by a passing truck, unfolds his thousand-eyed wings.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram, drawing. Roadkilled chickenhawk, sand, vegemite, household and decomposition chemicals, rodinal, graphite, biro, bromide, wax, and marbles on Fomapan fibre paper, with collaged hand-drawn eyes. Exposed 47 hours in rainlight in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 47.5cm (editions of 10)
After red brake lights and the highway, Dean and Esther, lifted from the hunt and hurled spinning into star silvered black, forge a new friendship in the unutterable vastness of space.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram, drawing and acid wash. Road-killed fox and muscovy duck, sand, turmeric, mineral salts, developers, graphite and chinese ink on fibre paper. Exposed 41 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 52.5cm (editions of 10)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, hatched in fire and lifting, triumphant over the burning Murray River, on an umbilicus of light.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram, acid wash and drawing. Three still born guinea fowl chicks, hen lost to old age, acid, sand, vegemite and sesame seeds on fibre paper. Exposed 23 hours in a geodesic dome in natural sunlight.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 51cm (editions of 10)
For ascending night-flyers, the lights of Wangaratta grow increasingly smaller, until they resemble constellations, and the difference between above and below is lost. Four starlings climb into a black mirror sky, on their return trip to Zeta Reticuli, star country of intergalactic birds. .
Lumachrome Glass Print, Cliche-verre, chemigram, drawing. Four window-killed starlings, seeds, sand, graphite and household chemicals on fibre paper. Exposed 46 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 35.5cm (editions of 10)
Michael falls in wildflowers and rises again in the Milky Way.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram drawing. Road-killed wallaby, flowers, chalk, wax, vegemite, seeds, sand and rice on fibre paper. Exposed 40 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 51cm (editions of 10)
Jenni, in spirit form, watches the first UFOs appear above the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Lumachrome glass print, cliche-verre, chemigram, painting. Fox-killed Guinea Fowl, sticks, white-out, leaves, sand, crayon, eyeliner and salt on fibre paper. Exposed 47 hours in a geodesic dome. (For Jenni Kemarre Martiniello).
Editioned prints, 75cm x 52cm (editions of 10)
When monsoon floods the Tanami, it fills waterholes and dry creeks, disturbing those who sleep all summer below the sand – shield shrimp and water-holding frogs, seeds, the dead. Alfy, buried this last year, wakened by rain, is lifted back into the sky on the shoulders of storm.
Lumachrome Glass Print, Cliche-verre, chemigram, painting. Drowned Rakali on fibre paper with twigs, seeds, vegemite, paint, turmeric and electroplating chemicals. Exposed 36 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 49cm (editions of 10)
At season’s end, fireflies fill the ribbon barks, down by Shoalhaven river. Sunny, lost to traffic, waits all night for dawn, for waking fireflies, and weaves a new body from their glow.
Lumachrome Glass Print, Cliche-verre, Chemigram, drawing. Road-killed juvenile hare, twigs, marbles, wax, ochre and seeds on fibre paper, exposed 46 hours in a geodesic dome.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 41cm (editions of 10)
Storm clouds, alive with lightning, over Charleys Forest the night Priscilla farewelled her cross-species flock, of two humans and a cat, with love. Her old bird body discarded on the farmhouse stairs she was electric, a magneto over the rooves of neighbouring houses, showering the fruit trees with sparks.
Lumachrome glass print, chemigram and electroplating. King Parrot lost to old age on fibre paper with electrified mineral salts and acid. Exposed 42 hours in a geodesic dome with current.
Editioned prints, 75cm x 54cm (editions of 10)