To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Sarah Blasko’s beautiful album ‘Eternal Return’ and the release of the deluxe digital only version of the album I was asked to make a video for the final track on the record “Without”. It was wonderful working with Sarah again, she completely left me to it and this is what we ended up with. The animation is one long camera pan of a large single image I made, I will post the entire image as soon as I get a chance, I think it would make a cool print.
Earlier this year I was asked to create animated content for Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour working with the track Countdown (one of my favourites of her songs). I was given a lot of freedom to come up with an animation that was to cover the 20 x 20 metre monolithic video screen, working with footage from all her previous music videos and her Lemonade visual album.
For the first month or so of the tour the animation filled the entire screen, then I was asked to do revisions turning the animation into a moving border, framing the live camera footage of her filmed on stage and screened back onto the monolith. I saw the concert in Frankfurt am Main, and it was incredible (and completely surreal).
Here are some photos of my work from the very first concert of the tour taken by Bryan Kwak, Apr 27, 2016, Marlins Park, Miami, Florida.
On 23 April 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Paul Kelly released ‘Seven Sonnets and A Song’, a mini-album of Shakespeare’s greatest sonnets and a song from ‘Twelfth Night’ set to music. Here is the video for Sonnet 18 (‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’) that I created. It was so nice working with Paul again, one of my very first major label music video commissions was for his side-project “Stardust Five” in 2006.
From Dec 11, 2015 until Feb 26, 2016 I exhibited artworks at The Australian Embassy in Berlin as part of the group show “Landscape is a State of Mind”. The show received wonderful feedback, and I sold several pieces and received further commissions.
Here is some overdue documentation of the exhibition (photographed by Harriet Clare). The other artists included Anna Steele, who is a painter, Harriet Clare who exhibited photographs but also works in collage, and Shannon Murphy.
And here is an assortment of photos of the exhibition being set up and the opening night
In 2008 I made an animated music video for the song “Persist” by the Melbourne band All India Radio, the animation was based on the story of Topsy the Coney Island elephant electrocuted by Thomas Edison. My sister Marita provided illustrations and Isobel Knowles assisted me with the animating. The first time I watched the animation with an audience (at a music video program during the Melbourne International Film Festival), claps and cheers followed at the end of every other video screened, but “Persist” was met with such awkward silence that I wanted to fall through the floor. Fast forward 7 years…
Last November I was in NYC for the opening of the exhibition “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland 1861 – 2008” at Brookly Museum, “Persist” had been curated in the exhibition, along with works by Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, and Joseph Stella.
The animation was displayed on a screen, on a loop with the original and very graphic film by Thomas Edison “Electrocution of Topsy”, as a key part of the section that told the story of Topsy and her life at Coney Island. It was an honour to be part of the exhibition, and it was also wonderful to meet the curators from The Wadsworth Atheneum who had originally conceived of the exhibition and to hear how they came across my animated tribute to Topsy online.
The exhibition toured nationally showing at The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford CT, San Diego Museum of Art (July 11, 2015 – October 13, 2015) and McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas, (May 11, 2016 – September 11 2016).
From April 2017 Persist will be included in an adapted version of the exhibition that over the next five years will travel to venues in underserved communities in the US.
A fully-illustrated, beautiful 304-page catalogue of the exhibition was published by Yale University Press, here is the write-up on my animation from its pages…
I’m behind on updating so many excellent things I’ve been involved in over the last 12 months! Late last year Melbourne band The Orbweavers presented Deep Leads a night of music and archival film footage of Melbourne at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and also included three animations by me.
The Poison Garden music video screened along with two other films I made especially for the performance, one for The Orbweaver’s song Periods Of Light and Rock, and another for their song Radium Girls.
Radium Girls tells the 1917 story of female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with self-luminous paint at the United States Radium factory in New Jersey, the animation will be reworked and released as a proper music video some time next year.
I was in New York City at the time of the event so didn’t get to attend the performance and unfortunately there isn’t a lot of footage from the night, but here are some stills from the Radium Girls music video…
Last December an animation I whipped up for French rock n roll boys Archi Deep and The Monkeyshakers was released, they were fun to work with!
Earlier this week my new music video for The Orbweavers premiered on Tone Deaf and was selected as Rage’s “Wild One” music video (formerly Indie Of The Week). This project was a bit of a family affair, my older sister Marita being one half of The Orbweavers (her partner Stuart is the other half of the band), and once again my younger sister Molly lending her limbs in front of the camera. “Poison Garden” is out now on digital release on Mistletone Records via Inertia.
Earlier this month my music video for “Transponder” by Howe Gelb’s legendary band Giant Sand premiered on Stereogum. The video came about when I finished Gemma Ray’s “The Wheel” music video, Howe Gelb’s vocals feature on that track and after seeing the video for it he got in touch about working together. The animation features my sister Molly, who lives around the corner from me and is a really great illustrator and artist. I got Joe to photograph Molly in burst mode in front of our kitchen wall while I directed her to bend, stretch and cry. While I was in the middle of putting the video together Howe was coming through Berlin on tour, so it was great to be able to include him in the video, meet him in person and see him perform, the man is a genius.