On Notebooks

I have always kept notebooks.  There are many, many notebooks.  Some are new, but given time, most of course are old.  These old ones are held together with tape and twine and elastic.  They are tattered and broken-spined, misplaced, lost, filled with meandering thoughts, idiocy, proclamations, damnations and untold misery.  I suspect, in many, many ways, they are the truest reflection of me. 

I will try to catalogue a few here.  Please forgive me if they are too ruined for although I have many notebooks, I am not that good at book keeping.




BIOILLOGICA - BARCELONA - notebook - 1992

Spain, Barcelona: In 1992 DAAS were invited to the Barcelona Olympics as an entertainment.  It was a period of high European strangeness that bore witness to a number of bizarre events*.  The highlight of the horror was at the final performance in the park where a painted bedsheet from our poorly finished hotel featured the Olympic mascot COBI.  The much loved COBI had a cartoon noose around his cartoon neck with a banner that read "COBI MUERTE".  Attempting to combine biological accuracy with the puerile I'd gifted COBI with an obligatory (and impressive) tumescence down below.  He was in the process of splurting out a seminal death throw.  It was grotesque. And I should have been more conscious of the reactions of the stage crew whow were universally appalled.  When we revealed the bedsheet at midnight half the park loved it, and half the park hated it.  They really hated it.  I thought for a second we'd suffer a similar fate.  The noise from the crowd was deafening.  It was shock and horror and shame and disgust and unsettling hilarity all mixed in with great oceans of sangria. 

It was only when the wailing mothers attempted to cover the eyes of the innocence that I noticed the children.  There were so many children. 

*There was also "The case of mistaken sodomy".  The two major players involved in this incident have failed to reveal the truth of that torrid night. 

The sketches from this period concern themselves with death and life, life and death.  

There are flowers growing out of bodies and about bones.

There are hybrid, imagined dark flowering monstrosities.

There are moments of humour.

(All this is subjective)

Some of the notebooks I used around this time were reclaimed autograph books.  I'd find them in second hand stores and stalls.  The collecting of signatures was a popular pastime pre-TV and the books are crammed with forgotten and unknown hands scribbling pithy odes.  Everyone it seems had a poem or adage or cliché they could employ to dazzle the object of their affection, their family or their friends.  Some are familar, and have endured, some are lost to time and only found in these yellowed pages now. 

I like the writing beneath the image, connecting the drawing to a specific moment in the past, generally a moment of kindness, and combining to create something new.    



These are some of less esoteric pages.


notebooks - DAHMERHORROR - ?

I stumbled across an article on Jeffery Dahmer.  There were photgraphs of his victims.  I started to try to draw them.



MONTREAL Notebook 2011

For several years now I have been part of GNW show for Network 10 which documents, for primarily Australian audiences, The Montreal Comedy Festival. 

In the time it takes to set up cameras, or prepare me for the onslaught, or while waiting for wayward comedians to escape the miasma of another night of over-indulgence, I have time to pen.  I'll be suited, sat, mic'd and waiting.  I am more often than not sat in squat airless rooms on the mutant offspring of Mephis-design chairs.  The rooms feel like well appointed dungeons.  Of the few items in the room of any worth, or warmth, are plants.  (Occasionally, I am afforded a view of the city beyond the confines of these rooms, thought this only occurs if we are not too deep underground).  And, occasionally, I am allowed in a garden. 




The year before last I began writing the names of the comedians, ranconteurs, jovialists and bon vivants I was about to chat with beside the scribbles I had made proir to their arrival. 

Here are a small seletion.

The complexity, or lack thereof, of each drawing bears no relationship to the punctuality, or lack thereof, of the comedian.