Future Memoirs - Coventry Gallery - Sydney 1984

zeron composit sml

'Journey to Zeron' - 9 panels - oil on canvas

These series of 12 sets of 9 paintings were drafted to mark the psychology of moving through a foreign city - in this case Sydney. 

The idea being that in transcribing my own processes of evolution from arrival to departure they would model the process for future reference in my work, as I moved from city to city.

Although the formal structure of these works is similar, each panel of 9 paintings paints a different subject of iconic focus.  These paintings were painted in thick impasto oil paint and then whilst the painting was still wet, marked with a supplementry icon denoting psychological focus. In this way I had hoped the work might reflect the shifting psychology of focus I moved from outsider into the city and its artworld and back out again.

This project was intended for exhibition at Reconnaissance Gallery, Melbourne, which had a large exhibition space, but it was never presented to Melbourne audiences. Despite my gravest concerns about future, I was awarded the Australia Council London Studio, at this time.  This meant I completed my project of painting my way through Sydney, but this body of work was never shown in its entireity. As it turned out, I sold the first two sets of nine paintings; 'Journey to Zeron' pictured above and 'The Break' pictured below.  An impromtu exhibition was organized at Coventry Gallery just before I left for London. The gallery could only fit 6 pieces - so I only ever presented half of this project before I left Sydney to take up the studio at the Air Gallery, Shaftsbury Ave, London. I had intended the installation of the complete suite might read as a cinematic diary. In this regard the project owes a debt to video art.

'The Break' - 9 panels - oil on canvas

Willis overlays these unremarkable amateurish pictures with jerky graffitti, scrawls words over them or counter points them with symbols ... unfortunately his inexperience as a painter is obvious and any pre-emptive measures against anyone assessing his work as 'ordinary' fail.
Terrance Maloon - Sydney Morning Herald - 1984

I am afraid my documentation of this work is incomplete, I have only 3 of the 12 works available on digital file at the moment.

 'The Native' - 9 panels - oil on canvas