Apr 19, 2014

Forever Young


Dec 1, 2013

The Pill


One of my more unusual hard rubbish finds - a packet of contraceptive pills, embedded in a clear resin block. If you shake the block you can hear the individual pills rattle about. This object would have once had its place in a doctors office, alongside eye-charts and plastic models of brains and such. Unfortunately I didn't find any of those, but I did find a several decks of unopened playing cards branded with airline logos and a stash of sample packets of pain killers...hmm, how terribly responsible of a person (ie; suspected medical health professional) to leave drugs on the footpath.
Anyway, back to 'The Pill'! I've been told that the design for this popular brand of birth control pills has now changed, from this simple one-directional format to a somewhat confusing zig-zagging one, arrows twisting in every direction. Several women I know looked fondly upon this original design and reminisce of simpler times. 

Aug 11, 2013

Little house, big house




Aug 8, 2013

Happiness squared

Such are the rewards of visiting your mum while the council hard rubbish collection just happens to be operating in her neighbourhood. I'm not sure what I'm more exited about...finding a crate full of vinyl records...
...or, a boxed set of 'Sets in Order - The Official Magazine of Square Dancing', 1969 -71 (California).

My heart is thumping, my turntable is spinning and my collage fingers are twitching! Happiness to the power of two!

Jun 30, 2013

Pruning the family tree

Ok, try not to get too distracted by the tie-dye inspired opportunity shop carpet, in its glorious shades of mustard and (chocolate) custard, and take a look at this....
This wall hanging, fashioned from a vanished slice of tree has a ode to 'Mother and Dad' on it, in gold paint. It reads as follows.

"To Mother and Dad. I am thinking tonight of my two best friends - The greatest and truest a man ever had. And these thoughts from my heart a great love sends, To those two best pals - My MOTHER and DAD"

Yeah...quite overstated and vaguely troubling! But take a look at where the somewhat crude hanging device of this plaque is located...
 Yes...at the bottom, on the front! So on the wall, it looks like this...
I guess the owner of this plaque preferred to read the age lines of the tree than the schmaltzy parental love poem. Which is also vaguely troubling, but rather amusing nonetheless!

[Special thanks to Cath for alerting me to this existence of this object!]

May 9, 2013

Dear Dan




There have been many slabs of concrete laid along my street in the last few years. While they have been poured at different times, a significant number have been marked by 'Dan'. Which leads me to suspect Dan lives in my street. So Dan, perhaps I can encourage you to further develop your creative process. The last time you marked your name (on my driveway) I noticed some interesting line markings - flourishes even! Am I right in thinking your work is perhaps getting a little stale, and that these new line markings are your attempt to break out of what has become a repetitive rut? Because I think you're making real progress, significant creative strides! Maybe next time you could even do away with your name completely and simply draw an image - a portrait of yourself perhaps? I can see your work deals with themes of personal identity and belonging, as well as feelings of disenchantment in a capitalist world. I also wonder if the imminent prospect of death informs your work - an urge to immortilise yourself in stone (or it's country cousin, concrete). Anyway, I wish you well in your creative endeavours, and hope my comments may help encourage you to have the confidence to push your work a little further. I understand you are somewhat limited by time constraints working with this material, but I think with some further thought you could work around this, and even use it to your advantage. 

Mar 7, 2013

Exotica suite

I found this vinyl record in the local Lions op shop, and was terribly amused by the piece of hessian stuck to its jacket. I imagined someone had found the image underneath too racey, became ovewhelmed by exotic possibilities, then felt compelled to cover it up - a modesty panel, if you like! I have since googled this record, and to my surprise, ALL the record covers had this odd hessian rectangle stuck to it! Um....why? Am I missing some conceptual design master stroke? Maybe the jacket sans hessian didn't get past the censorship board, so this was a solution? So despite the cover not being uniquely modified as I first thought, I am still tempted to enlist the services of a paper conservator, who could prove or disprove my theory. Otherwise somebody needs to enlighten me as to how the addition of hessian relates to this record. Don't get me wrong, I love collage and texture, it's just that it seems a little kooky in this case. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) Compositionally it works, maybe that's all that matters. As you were!
[Cover design; Francis & Monahan, Inc.]

Dec 23, 2012

Corrosive

Chemistry in motion...

Nov 10, 2012

Shore thing

For me, beachcombing is an unfettered joy. Sometimes the flotsam (or jetsam) thrown upon the shores is a little unusual...

















This find encouraged me to invent a narrative...I think someone on a boat reeled in a giant, thrashing, beast of a fish, spluttered in excitement and lost his/her dentures to the waves.

Aug 4, 2012

Nice dice

It may have escaped your attention, but the truth is I am a collector. Of what? Hmm, I find it hard to narrow my gaze. I like nice things, and dice are indisputably nice. Here are a few of my favourites. 
There's one particular die that I am especially fond of. I found this die in a pile of tacky jewellery in the op shop, sadly separated from its accompanying board game. 
That's right, a Famous Five * die! To state the bleeding obvious, there are six sides to a traditional die, so we have Julian, Dick and Anne, George and Timmy the doo-ooo-oooog....what's on the sixth side?
But of course, it's a mystery! Jolly good then! Gosh, what about these....
...they must relate to sport (probably soccer?), but are also a little open ended, with a distinct melancholy flavour. That makes them twice as nice.
*WARNING - that Famous Five link will lead you to truly the worst singing you are ever likely to hear. It may already be too late. The moral of this story is pay attention to the asterisk!

Jul 9, 2012

Science Rules

May 25, 2012

Go configure

The troublesome pseudoscience of physiognomy, as applied to women who prefer buns.

Feb 25, 2012

'A Striking Example of Marine Camouflage'

















"The Zebra Striped British Transport Osterley, as she appeared in New York Harbour, decked with flags in honor of the Armistice, Nov 11, 1918"
(c) Underwood & Underwood

Jan 26, 2012

Nature strip



Nov 27, 2011

. . . _ _ _ . . .

Who would not give their eye teeth to get their hands on this Morse Code set? 
 As a child I would have loved this kit. As an adult I am equally enthralled. What an impossibly romantic notion for a space station to use such a simple technology as morse code. Or is it? I think I've seen enough Sci-Fi movies to know that when the electronics panel catches on fire and all sophisticated communication devices fail, someone can wire together a device like this and save the universe!
But I digress....this particular kit buzzes, flashes and is battery operated. Plus, as an added bonus, there's an old bandaid stuck on the connecting wire. It was probably used to tape the wire to the bedroom wall, so as not to get tangled in the vaccum. I imagine that in the midst of the excitement of receiving this kit there was no time to waste looking for standard adhesive tape.
Thanks Suey for this lovely gift xx

Oct 29, 2011

The Tin

While fossicking around the hard rubbish piles in Melbourne's Eastern suburbs, I spotted a metal cigarette tin that had been overpainted to resemble some sort of flag. Curious. Picking it up I could feel there was something inside the tin. By now my spidey senses were tingling. Just to prolong that feeling I thought I'd open it when I got home.
Later in the day, upon opening the tin I found.....THIS!
Ok, that's a cash box envelope, but more importantly, that biro pen scrawl seems to indicate a National Australia Bank box number. Could it be? Looking inside the envelope  I found this.....
OMG it's a KEY!  I have no idea what to do about this. Please advise.

Sep 11, 2011

Tah Dada!

Hard rubbish....proving the act of putting out the trash is accidentally artful. Never mind that you can't draw, get yer Dada's out! 

Hound Dog

So....I just couldn't go past this sooky, slate eyed hound dog in the op shop. Bought for just $2 (half price!) at the RSPCA op shop, all my heart strings were plucked. Also, my funny bone was tickled. 

Sep 2, 2011

Compare & contrast



Aug 20, 2011

Get faxed

This t-shirt managed to worm its way into an opp shop...probably through some sort of space-time vortex.

Aug 10, 2011

Vampire Robot House (Melbourne)

Jul 19, 2011

Say It With Fish

                         Because fish are the new flowers.

Jun 18, 2011

Ex-Library

I woke up with a bad cold, then convinced myself that a trip to the local Scout Hall for the annual sale of decommissioned library books might help clear my head. Well, I was wrong. I found this charming book in the junior non-fiction section. It looks a bit like a cookbook, but don't be fooled kiddies. In Chapter 1/ Dissection : A Fun Way to Learn About Life, it is suggested "Perhaps the only thing you will not like about dissection is the clean up after you are done." I can think of a couple of other things...
Chapter 3/ Where To Get Specimens recommends "Slaughterhouses. You can find one by looking under "Abottoir" in the Yellow Pages. If there are no local slaughterhouses, you could visit one when you travel during vacations in the summertime. The parts can be frozen until you want to dissect them". Ahhh c'mon kids, what better way to while away a lazy summer holiday than visiting the abbatoirs, huh? I'll pack the esky! There is also an entire chapter on eyeball dissection..."If you want a surprise, look at the calf eye cornea and squeeze the eyeball hard." This book may force me to re-think commonly accepted theories on violence in video games. And lastly there is a project "Tying a Knot in a Chicken Bone". See, they told you dissection was fun! However, tying knots in bones is not a traditionally accepted practice of dissection...that belongs in the "Art With Carcasses" project book.

May 30, 2011

To Your Health

Breakfast is served. Bread, frankfurters, tinned & fresh pineapple, decorative parsley, cognac oh, and of course....
...a pack of smokes. Menthol cigarettes, no less! Ahh, the 70's...those cats sure were out to lunch!

Apr 26, 2011

Going Slow

Apr 17, 2011

Fat Chance

Apr 10, 2011

Genuine Vulcanizer

I have absolutely no idea what a genuine vulcanizer is, or why it's better than an imitation vulcanizer. It does look quite useful though, it sounds wonderful and it's certainly pretty. This ticks all the boxes. Found in the hard rubbish, of course!

Mar 17, 2011

Sheets Apart

Abandoned mattresses [details]


During my ongoing abandoned mattress documentation quest, two burly local council workers pulled their collection truck over to ask me why I was taking photographs. Luckily they weren't threatening to fine me, they were simply bewildered. However, they seemed concerned I was going to file some sort of health report/complaint over the condition of the hard rubbish, specifically the mattresses. Could it be the rubbish guys were worried their jobs might be in jeopardy because the rubbish could be, err, a bit germy, stained or even have curly metal springs sticky out of it? It is, after all, an OH&S mad world, and they don't make or collect rubbish like they used to. Anyway, they seemed quite satisfied with my vague "art project" explanation, waving and smiling every time we crossed paths for the rest of the afternoon (which was often). All in all, a pleasant day whiled away in the 'burbs. And for future reference, if someone asks me a difficult question or I find myself in a spot of bother, I'll just mutter something about an art project and point at my camera. Who would have thought that could be such a fine pacifier...

Mar 12, 2011

The Taming of the Zebra

In the year 1898, in one of the many mews just off Cromwell Road, Kensington, lived Mr Hardy, who was a noted horserider & trainer, being one of the three men who had succeeded in riding the "French Rocking Horse". This was a device used by the French Cavalry. It had every possible movement of a wild horse not in the best of tempers.
Leopold de Rothschild, who knew of Hardy's ability, was talking to friends of this achievement and said that he was willing to make a stake on his ability to train any animal resembling a horse. One of his friends took up this boast, and a stake was made that Hardy could not train a team of zebras to pull a coach through London.
When after much trouble, the necessary beasts were obtained, Rothschild went to Hardy and told him the conditions of the wager. Hardy agreed to train them.
The zebras were taken to Kensington and after 2 years hard work, Hardy informed Rothschild that his task was completed and that the team were ready for the road.
At six o'clock one morning a strange sight was seen in London when, for the first time, a team of zebras were seen pulling a coach through London.

Feb 28, 2011

The Misaligned World

Embedded
Faded
Misaligned