Festival 2011 – 2013
It is an idiosyncratic view of life in the street we are presented with in “Festival” where the artist’s various journeys seem to come together in a surprising and overwhelming celebration of the area in which he lives. Here we have evidence of the different waves of migration in the different people jostling for position in the crowd. We also have the sense of displacement juxtaposed with the contradictory sense of belonging, the ephemera of festival, the disposable nature of the consumer society to which we all now belong and the meeting point for order and chaos. “Festival” is a sensory overload. There is something of the fishbowl in its composition. Objects resembling creatures belonging to the realms of land, sea and sky inhabit all the spaces. We are reminded of compositions by other painters such as James Ensor whose confronting portraits in “Christ’s Entry into Brussels” appear to push up against the viewer, encroaching on personal space and Vittore Carpaccio’s “The legend of St Ursula” where processions of doll like figures are viewed in multiple narratives. But “Festival” is also a record of the suburb in which the artist lives, a glimpse into the faces in the street, a look into the crowd and an eclectic inventory of objects commonly sold in the two-dollar shops of Footscray.