The Making of Flux

My interest to make moving images came from watching films as a child, especially the Canadian animated films. In 1978 at art school I took part in a film making workshop using the simple process of drawing and redrawing on a single sheet of thick paper with several students. This led me to interpret a piece of choral music by Bach with over 4,000 drawings and paintings.

Being awarded the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2007 allowed to me to focus full time on a series of drawings based on the river and oyster farms where I lived. I had studied Chinese calligraphy and wanted to distill an essence of it with my drawing of water. But to expand the dynamics of line which fascinated me in Chinese calligraphy I decided to return to film in 2009.

I began studies for Flux with charcoal on paper. This resulted in both camera and computer quickly being covered in charcoal dust. I switched to oil trialling bits of found objects, bristle and fur brushes, rubber balls and thongs to make a range of textures. The first year involved learning about computers and trialling mediums and ideas. The second year was taken with drawing and editing more than a thousand images.

A typical Flux day involved working in a dark, spot lit studio – very disconnected from the outside world. Each drawing was photographed on a stills camera, automatically stored on computer then edited into a moving sequence on a computer.

 

making-of-flux

The changes between each drawing determined the pace and character of the lines. The state of mind I worked in influenced the quality of work – a focused and relaxed mind always produced the best outcomes.

I had hoped that Flux would one day have a soundtrack composed for it. The minimal and calm quality in Flux suggested a similar treatment with sound. By chance I met Micheal Harding who created abstracted soundscapes. Micheal reworked an existing soundtrack to complement Flux.