Auburn, NSW, Australia 1972
Storm sequence 2000
PF I came upon a Shaun painting at a Helen Lempriere Scholarship
exhibition, in a sea of what was then termed ‘Grunge’, and here was this
beautifully painted double figure; two historical figures
PF I came upon a Shaun painting at a Helen Lempriere Scholarship exhibition, in a sea of what was then termed ‘Grunge’, and here was this beautifully painted double figure; two historical figures.
And I immediately recognised an extraordinary talent in this young painter; found him out and became quite engaged with his work, and immediately asked him to do a piece of work, for a very small amount of money, and to get him to do something that he had not explored before.
After a couple of months Shaun rang me to say that the work was finished, and that it was a video. I thought ‘Oh, dear oh dear’ My heart sank. But I thought ‘No, this is good. I’ve got to support this, and I’ve got to be interested’, and he had arranged a studio at the Art School. He was still in the final year of his masters, I think, and he showed me this most extraordinary video piece of his skateboarding.
I didn’t even know he was a skateboarder. I was just transfixed by the
beauty of this image of this skater pirouetting in slow motion, with the huge
drama of the sea; the seascape behind him this incredible storm at sea. All
these were elements of luck; the storm and so forth. And then with the rain
falling on the lens of the camera transforming what was a video piece it becomes
almost a pointillist, almost an impressionist painting, as the blurring, still
with this figure eternally circling almost like an angel or some celestial body
ready to return to another void; to another planet; to another world.
And taking its leave in this last gyration, which just goes on, and on, and on. It’s quite mesmeric, quite simple in its dynamic, and yet the poetry and the intensity, and the sense of drama that is captured.
I think it is an extraordinary video. This to me contained all the elements that I just think that great video art holds, and I just feel that in this young artist there is an extraordinary talent.