Opening: September 30 5:30 pm
Viewing: September 30 until October 10
At the heart of my work is Light.
The play of light and shadow across landscape, water, and human form.
My work captures light, to echo the brushstrokes of the painter.
As a visual artist, I partner with Nature’s rich colour palette.
I work in one medium, to explore another.
Born in New Zealand, I was the youngest of four children. It’s very fitting that, after over 30 years in Australia, my first show back home is in the town where I grew up. I was a Whanganui boy until I was 16.
My mother, Enid Laffey, was the local Plunket nurse, and I would often tag along to visit the families who lived up the river. She was especially connected with the local Maori communities, who welcomed us because they valued her compassionate and respectful nursing mahi, within the whanau.
Perhaps as a testament to both her compassion and her sharp intellect, she quickly won the respect of James K. Baxter- no trivial achievement. She would make frequent health visits to Baxter’s commune, where he also took a liking to her quiet, thoughtful 10-year-old son. “ Come and sit here lad” he’d say to me, before continuing to read to the group from his writings, while my mother did her nursing rounds.
I also loved the many art books my mother collected. Through such books, I came to know the art of J.M.W Turner, whose work is revered for capturing an enigmatic glow that seems to shine from within the canvas itself. It was my fascination with this idea which sparked my whole journey as an artist.
That is the key to the work I do. The inner glow. It has been a lifetime study to capture that, and my journey still continues with this intangible riddle. Perhaps, like Turner, I seek what can never be fully captured. It’s the ultimate artist’s Holy Grail.
A Snapshot of the Printing Process:
I am using a new paper stock, called “Solfe Glaze Saturn Rag” 250GSM.
What distinguishes this from a conventional stock, is it is essentially self-sealing. What takes place is the paper sits on a heating element before the image is struck. After the print is struck, the finished image sits on another heating element while the pigment ink dries. The ink is absorbed into the paper, as apposed to drying on the surface, as if it is tattooed into the surface. As the paper cools a sealer, which is part of the special coating of the stock seals over the surface, forming a very archival finish that renders the work completely protected from the harmful atmospheric conditions and UV stable.
This is a breakthrough process for me as it now enables me to present my work as I have always aspired to, as finished art! Freeing it from the distractions of being mounted behind glass or acrylic. Naturally, like any art, one still takes the precautions in the environment in which the piece is to live, you would not hang it in a home environment where direct sunlight may fall on it.
Aside from the stock there is also a special high-end printer that has addition levels of black, provide better mid and low range details. for my images, a significant point of surface.
All works are one-offs and where possible the means to reproduce is destroyed with the collector of the piece.
Space Studio & Gallery
18 Saint Hill Street