Friday, September 21, 2012

Brett Whiteley's haunting

Harry Kent, Brett Whiteley's haunting, 
charcoal, shellac, oil and varnish on paper, 76 x 55 cm.

I have been haunted by Brett Whiteley - man, artist, cultural icon. This series of works has been both that haunting and an exorcism.

The drawing above is designed to be viewed through back lighting, such over a light box or illuminated by strong sunlight from behind, otherwise it is a dark and murky, almost undecipherable image. 

But given the aforementioned illumination it suddenly 'appears' as a golden glow, the shellac having rendered the watercolour paper translucent.  

Just like a ghostly apparition should.



  1. i can understand you are obsessed with Brett Whiteley, full agree. This One it's superb, i love your work

  2. I am very excited about the effects of the materials you are using for these. The idea of translucent paper really has my mind twirling.

    The contrast between the ghostly and the warm tones of the materials makes for and interesting paradox. A fleshed out ghost.

    I remember an exhibition by Leon Golub where he placed his images on mylar and suspended them in the middle of the gallery. Not only was the light transmitted by them but the images were visible from both sides of them. The viewer became enveloped/consumed by them. It was very disturbing. I could see your ghostly images displayed in a similar way.

    1. "A fleshed out ghost". Love it.

      Interesting you mentioning the mylar images. Ive recently been taken with Ray Turner's impasto oil paintings on glass - an extreme contrast of textures - and was thinking of having a go.

      He paints on a background behind the portrait, but if that were left off and the portrait painted directly onto the glass and viewed from both side ... Great idea. Thanks Davida.