YEAR: 2014

 

PANE: (noun) a single sheet of glass.

GAIN: (noun) A measure of the ability of a circuit to increase the power or amplitude of a signal from the input to the output by adding energy converted from some power supply to the signal.

Being an artist is about discovering one’s own self-expression, tapping into the creative sections of the brain for a quick release of serotonin, interpreting complex social and material narratives, dipping metaphorical toes into metaphorical waters: You get the gist.

As Spiritualist writer Thomas Merton articulately penned, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” And in the process bring forth ideas out into the open to test ideas.

No pane, oodles of gain was technically my first solo show (although the two other galleries at first site ran concurrently), I still like to think it was my FIRST gallery solo show.

A few minutes before the opening I should have been fine-tuning my kinetic pieces, pieces which I had spent months battling with over the constant compromise between technological realities in tandem with my incompetent understanding of mechanics or engineering, or spending time speaking to early-arrives about my art and its complex levels of creation. Was I though? No. Minutes from the opening of my first big solo show I am out the back in the gallery’s “kitchen” putting all my focus and attention on trying to cut an enormous block of Aldi cheese into smaller bit-sized blocks using the bluntest knife in the world.

That’s what I earned. That’s what being an artist is. It’s not the art, or the marketing, or construction of deep complexities, it’s about catering and using appropriate cutlery. It’s about yelling at cheese and the frustration of providing my audience with sufficient nibbles. Oh did I mention it was a hot Melbourne Summer evening of 38 degrees (Celsius), and by hot I mean like a sock trapped in a truck driver's armpit hot. What made it worse was I have partial alopecia of the eyebrows; particularly the right one. It’s true, I don’t have eyebrows as such, they’re more a suggested small patch of follicles over each eye which I style accordingly. To be more precise; I have comb-over eyebrows, which on this particular evening capitulated to a  torrent of perspiration fed by my dripping forehead. Before you could say "man overboard" my eyebrows gave way causing the heavily moossed follicles to change direction. My eyebrow comb-overs soon Rapunzelled into hang-unders. That, and a great Niagara of salt water in the eye rendered me almost completely blind, yet I was a man on a mission and kept hacking at that cheese with intense abandon. Thankfully, during the entire episode there was no danger of being wounded by the knife as it had the edge of an overweight tortoise.

Putting on your first solo art exhibition is like your 21st birthday party. It’s not fun and the entire evening is spent nervously ghosting about the floor asking everyone if they’re having a great time. “You okay? “Everything okay?” “Drinks, cheese and nibbles are on the card table in the corner.” “You okay, everything okay? And repeat.  Then as the night progresses, “everything Okay?” turns from a question into a statement...”Everything Okay!”

Thanks First Site for the opportunity and for God’s sake I know OH&S is overly precious sometimes but get a sharper knife, yeah. A butcher once told me the most dangerous knife in the average kitchen is the bluntest. Though in fairness, that Aldi cheese was a bit ridged.

Oh, and as for the show itself... Click on images to see what the cheese-less fuss was all about. Okay!

"My practice embraces the process of building machines. Made from found objects and powered by auto windscreen wiper motors each contrivance performs a unique and rhythmic sound show. Therefore: No Pane, Oodles of Gain". - Artist profile (First Site Gallery, 2014).

# Thread drop sound instrument (2013).

MATERIALS: found objects, threaded rod, washers, springs, chains, packaging materials,

MOTOR: 72 Cortina XLE.

DIMENSIONS: (H)1200mm x (W)570mm x (D)250mm.

# Wheelie nudgey machine sound instrument (2014).

MATERIALS: found objects, bike parts, windscreen wiper motor.

MOTOR: 92 Toyota LandCruiser (model unknown).

DIMENSIONS: variable.

 
 

# Bolt turny thingy sound instrument (2012).

MATERIALS: found objects, threaded bolts, packaging materials, windscreen wiper motor.

MOTOR: 84 Nissan Pulsar (model unknown).

DIMENSIONS: variable.

 
 

# Toggle drag sound instrument (2014).

MATERIALS: found objects, window regulator.

MOTOR: Commodore front passenger window regulator (year and model unknown).

DIMENSIONS: variable.

CHRIS LIKE MAKE THINGS...CHRIS GOOD!