Interview by Ann Eklund, photos by Aaron Hughes
Ann Eklund: Can you tell us a little bit about this project?
Greg: Yeah, so the title of the work is 'The Infinite Everything'. And it was originally made as a commission for the Casula Powerhouse Museum. The brief was to make a work that responded to model trains, specifically for the show 'Mind the Gap' with 5 other artists. The exhibition was in collaboration with the Model Train Society of Sydney.
The work had come out of a collaboration we had done 18 months prior where we made a series of paintings based on collages, so we thought about this project being kind of an extension of that.
So, thinking about the train, we had never worked with model trains before, how were we going to make a model train artwork? We wanted it to still be strongly about painting, a celebration about painting and also in some way honor the Model Train Society; their craft and the macro/micro worlds they create.
Clare: It also plays back into what we're both interested in with the Baroque. Where you are looking at these old paintings with their macro, enormous worlds and it makes you feel really small looking out into these heavens. So we wanted to play on that similar sort of energy.
You are both artists in your own right with your own separate careers, as well as being married, so how is it to collaborate together?
Greg: It's cool, it works.
Clare: I think the first time we collaborated we just figured out how each other worked. Now that we understand each other's logic and aesthetic, you can kind of preempt each other's decisions.
Greg: This work was kind of funny to begin with, to stick a model train in the middle of our collaborative process was kind of weird anyway so we kind of let go of certain things, it wasn't so precious - it became more playful.
Clare: It's also important that we both have separate practices and that we bring what we do well to the table.
I find that when you work alone you can get to a natural endpoint and when you work with someone else they'll have different conclusions. So Greg or I would come in and suggest something that would elevate it beyond what working as an individual could get it to.
You are now living here locally, why did you guys move to the area?
Greg: For one, we had been living between Sydney and Canberra for a number of years and that was becoming tiring and expensive. I was really keen to be by the coast and we kind of wanted to find a place that had studios. We like the lifestyle here. It's been super productive.
You mention before that this artwork was originally commissioned by the Casula Powerhouse Museum. Being that The Egg & Dart is a very different space, what differences do you anticipate exhibiting here?
Clare: There is a certain crowd that will go to an exhibition in a museum and having the installation in a space such as Egg & Dart opens it up to a whole different audience of people that walk down the street and see it. In the last three days setting it up, I've had people walk past and chat about it and had kids getting excited seeing it.
Greg: It's different, it's like seeing it new for the first time again. In here its beautiful in its own way, having different levels and viewpoints working its way around the space of the gallery.
The Infinite Everything
April 17 – May 1, 2015
The Egg & Dart