Drawn in by the imperfect circle



Imperfect circles have a natural shape.

Formed through a process, by hand or by the weather, by the landscape, over time.  The imperfect circle is not made by machine.

They have a real-ness, an irregular truth, an individuality.

I am drawn to imperfect circles, they are a significant part of my work.

I drew them first before I was a painter or a printmaker, before I had cloth.

It was 1994 and I had just bought my first home – a ground floor flat by the beach in Sydney that was once part of a grand old home built in 1890. The bedroom was lined in a dingy dark brown wallpaper. Underneath this paper I discovered richly textured walls layered with mysterious marks and colour – an old pale green, a yellowing cream and a soft pink plaster and  thin sepia coloured wavy lines.  It was beautiful and atmospheric but every wall was covered. Instinctively I took up a brush and painted over most of the walls, carefully saving spaces where the most interesting details lay.

Here I was  creating pleasingly rounded organic shapes without thinking and so I continued painting until the compositions felt just right.

Looking back now I realise this was the beginning of my direction as an artist – I had discovered my instinctive way of working and  uncovered my process. So I started collecting up old bits of wood, driftwood from the beach or from skips on building sites. I was looking for a patina and some history – layers of old paint, scuffs and scratches. By knocking out the background, simplifying and reducing the excess noise, gradually the shapes would reveal themselves.

The process of looking at the negative space between the shapes and playing with the depth of field when your brain is a bit uncertain whether you are looking at a shape sitting on the surface or at windows looking through to the background intrigues me a lot.

And so I began turning these painterly experiments into designs.  My artwork practise had now become my creative filter.

Stuffed Olives design came directly from experimenting on the print  table with composition and placement.

Stoney and Two up come from my sketches of looking at the landscape from above – water holes and dams sketched from a plane window.

Spotcheck came from a drawing I did when driving down the south coast of NSW. I came across a housing development  being drawn on the land with a bulldozer. Roundabouts and cul de sacs drawn at giant scale.

My art is my starting point and also an end result. With the textiles sitting in right in the middle.

A perfectly  imperfectly circular process.

I have created a small vignette of products showcasing some of my imperfect circle designs and artworks. They will be available on the Temple + Webster site as from today for a week. Check it out here..