Well Spring is here for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere. The good thing is that the weather is beautiful, and I love the annual return of the Black Cockatoos that swoop around late each afternoon, before settling in our trees for the night. I don’t know what it is about these big birds, but their lazy flapping motion, and their loud, shrill, but somehow soft whistling call, always relaxes me. I get a sort of feeling like the world is right when they return each year. The strange noise they make once they are settled in a tree is not so comforting, but it is unique. A sort of cross between a cat purring and a two stroke engine.
The thing I don’t like about Spring is that I start to dread the coming summer. I really hate sweating away behind a welding mask in my shed. If I wear long sleeves it can be stifling. If I wear short sleeves I visualise my arms covered in skin cancers. I have already had a few of them cut out. I can’t have a fan pointed at me because the welding gas gets blown away from the nozzle. The sweat runs into your eyes, your shirt ends up drenched. I hate the summer in my shed. Oh and some of the other wild life that gets into my shed at this time of the year is not so relaxing. The occasional deadly snake and the rather common nasty spider. Any way the weather is beautiful now.
The Perth show has been very successful, so thanks to everyone at Linton and Kay gallery. Next up for me is another exhibition with Michael Commerford Gallery, in Edgecliffe, Sydney. This is my home gallery if you like, and I’ve been showing there since 2000. Jodie especially, is looking forward to another few days in Sydney. She loves those areas around that beautiful harbour. The show opens on the evening of October 8, but the sculptures should be there a couple of days before that. The full details of the work should be up on Michael’s website by the end of the week before, but here are a few of the pieces that I will have there.
This is the third Dustbin Fairing G.P. bike that I’ve made. I really like the character of them. Each of them has been different and a different colour to boot. The first with a Maroon flash went to the U.S., the second with a pastel blue flash has a home in England, and now some one here has a chance to grab this one. I could easily keep this piece.
People often ask me what inspires the piece. Some times it is because I see an animal or car or bike or something, and the character of it just appeals to me. Other times I see a shape, or colour, of a part, and that dictates what I will do with it. The Old Dog, you know the grey muzzled ones you see going for a slow determined walk, with short little steps, on stiff legs. He will look up at you, moving his eyes only, presumably because his thick neck is no longer flexible enough. He is an example of the former. As are the Bikes. The Seal and the Toucan are the result of what I see in the part. The Seal is a very simple piece for me, and I really like it when I can achieve a good sculpture simply. Not easy to do. It has Parts from 1950 Holdens, an even older MG, an exhaust from a Motocross bike, and some brake pads. I don’t use a lot of Bike parts, but I bought a box of these exhausts and one of them said ” Seal” to me. The Toucan is pretty obvious but a little unusual for me in that I have used a non car or bike part,…And as a feature at that. I just really liked that old red scythe and wanted to use it in something. Another piece that I made recently, and which will be in Sydney, was inspired in a completely different way. Last year when leading a race in my Formula Ford, a young driver with visions of glory made a clumsy passing effort. The result was a 150 kph flip for me. I was left with no shortage of broken race car parts, and from these, I made a Goose in memory of this unfortunate event. The result is this piece called ” Wade “. Almost made entirely from busted race car bits. I don’t want to think what this piece cost me.