Day 2 and it’s progress.

First up we have the canvas on a frame, stretched and undercoated.
kinda lilac?
Then I bought some wrapping brown paper, which I like alot because of it’s courseness and durability, and proceed to get a piece big enough to cover the canvas at 860 x 1100.
brown over lilac.
Then the drawing begins. Theres never enough reference but in a funny way theres always enough and possibly too much at the same time… decisions.
pencils and felts.
So I managed to get the weta stretched accross the whole background and then I cut it out and trace around the edges so by the end of today I’ll have the main three colours in and be starting on the highlights.
Cut it up. Trace it out.

Weta workshop… not but, yes really!

I’ve a commission to do for a passionate bloke and his wife and the passion is in the realm of Kites. The man, Malcolm, is off to Europe to fly kites and saw my weta box in Henderson as the graphic he wants on a kite to take with him.

Two birds with one stone equals me doing a painting with all the frills and then himself removing the basic red, black and blue graphic for the kite.

So my good friend John has just brought a new camera, and a very flash lens, and he has a real Weta, which I arrived at his house this morning to borrow, it’s dead though, but there he was out in the front garden taking photos of flowers quickly approaching their use by date… so I got some very pro photos of Weta as reference for the painting which, the canvas, was made (out of sliced 4 x 2) and stretched and undercoated yesterday.
weta 1
even weta 1

So now I’ll just crop up the images to suit me and the work and send them to the copy shop for some hard copy I can handle and peruse easily while I paint.

Which I’ll do all day and into the night…except for a brief sojourn to Vit S tonight.
Life itself can be very easy… if you fill it with hard work!


It mean “peace for his fiancee” which is the name of a piece in the exhibition that is kinda hidden (even I forgot about it when I was doing the photos).

Remember this thing…
the desk for Karl... with marks.
Well, the light that seems to appear from the frying pan lid with the speaker cover pot riveted into it is a cupboard containing…
within the alcove
… this little sculpture. So it sits hidden within the desk and a single light runs from the junction box on the floor below to allow it to be seen through the door and also through a portion of the perspex part of the top.
cowboy tiger
During the 90’s I ran around town building all sorts of stuff in shops and cafes etc as well as the odd complete shop, shopfitting mainly, but I did it all from demo to lighting and plumbing, with the normal metal and wood inbetween, and I was always conscious of the fact I hold no tickets for any of the work I do so I saw myself as a cowboy. But not how we all think of cowboys when we see shoddy work but as that fellow with a horse and a bag of tools able to do just about everything required by using those tools and lots of lateral thinking.

But I don’t want to go completely into everything I’ve used but shorthand it down to The turtle that is the world of US and Canadian Indian legends, flying on the wings of pre-history, marked by the British Empire, carrying the Tiger with the Cowboys head wearing a mexican hat below the first of the bi-planes and holding up the sword of righteousness. The Penguin rides shotgun and the thumb points forward.

I could, literally, write a book about all of this and the interconnections thereof, but I won’t because I don’t need anyones understanding of my own reality, most probably better people don’t get it and it remains mysterious… even shrouded under a complete lack of understanding or interconnection, playfully simple even…
dinosaur head
And below is the dinosaur headed cowboy. A different cowboy altogether. Uniform wearing dull head holding his magnifying glass to probe the meanings of that which flies statically above. Between the dullhead and the govenor, as in limiting device, hangs the heart and the sphere…

The desk is the grand message accross the years to Mr Marx about mysteries and possibilities that must run rampant with the human endevour. Indeed a socialist and communistic base for operations would be desirable to allow the basic needs of us all to be fullfilled but we must have the freedom to explore ourselves and to push the boundaries of our abilities… Capitalism with it’s feedbag of coin instills and grasps those passions to its own dull needs, or should I say it somewhat offers the scope while altogether dulling the outcome. Somewhere in the middle way lies the ability to provide for all and still allow the brave to dance and entertain… without ruining the planet in the meantime….maybe.

The Show in Parnell.

Little bit confusing but the space is full. Confusing because Pierre is changing the name from Aesthete gallery to pierre peeters gAllery but it’s still in the courtyard behind Sandersons at 251 Parnell Rd.

The Artworks of Sean Kerrigan in;
A Tribute in Honour of Peter Sauerbier.

By Sean Kerrigan.

These things that I make have stories both constructional and metaphorical for me. The story of their construction is the main one that drives me to do these things, the challenges I encounter and the problems I have to solve to make them sturdy. But as they unfold I begin to realize that the parts I use and the methods to put them together are beginning to tell another story. A story that has been dug from my subconscious so the things I care about are made whole and take a shape from which I can work through my understandings of the world I live in.

But I won’t ruin the stories you might tell yourselves… because for me this is the important thing about art that if I can reach deep enough within myself I’ll have reached a universal place and this will match what you have in you for you. Even though the associations may change the simple fact that you can tell your own stories and let them have air is what really counts. So I’ll just hint at some of the things that have occurred for me to set you off.

3: The Colonel’s Nemesis.
This was my first work in a long time where I went back to my beginnings and decided to do art for arts sake. No longer will I let the market determine my output and leave paths untread because the market won’t value me the way I value myself. If a piece demands that I work days and days and even then restart after abandoning three quarters then so be it. This chair started one way and failed so was cut in half and started again. The metaphor of the Colonel is apt then as that place on the ladder of leadership, in the Army, is one which is very hard to get beyond. The chances of going further dwindle quickly on the pyramid and it can be a tricky place for the true battlefield is lost to field offices and shaping the fortunes of war is done much further up. The Colonel is caught in the middle unable to determine his future unless he again decides to dig deep, take risks and abandon the security he has attained.

4: Multiplex rellies of lives B4.
If reincarnation was a truth and I believe it to be so, then many of us have been many of us and the self described us that is of our culture… or race even, is merely a mask over the deeper realities that make us what we are. Therefore my assertion with this piece is that the obvious can be a crutch that can stop us from delving deeper into the stuff of legends that are our makeup.

7: Chasing the Lounge.
This piece was the ultimate challenge for me in cantilevering bends. I wanted to push my ability to bring off something strong enough to do the job while also completely making it up as I went along. I also wanted to work the mode I enjoy which is pieces being of nature alike the forest and trees where if we don’t watch where we tread we can get snagged and even impaled. This teaches us to be safe.
Also comfort is a matter of something fitting and is not about padding out a lazy design. This is my chief concern with modern furniture. Having lazy designs means padding is a cover and this padding out becomes a mode unto itself where the loss of underlying truth becomes a contest to always shift the eye from the foundational discrepancies.

9: The Cleopatra Phalanx.
I don’t know if this one even has any meanings. Maybe it’s simply a light. But its construction is such that it isn’t so much fragile but the weakest link definitely defines its care. That said many have sought to look strong thinking the weak point is well hidden.

17: Of England… man.
This cabinet reminds me of the strength and glory in the English industrial revolution and how easy, as we strive for connections apart from the centres of power, that humble England, and Britain by default, is a noble connection to have. That I can be proud of my forebear’s achievements while being disdainful of the blind stupidity of it’s ruling classes.

19: There is no Limit.
More of a joke than anything for it is a fan called Limit and it doesn’t work well as a fan therefore there is no limit. What it needs is more holes in the back to draw in more air and so without opening to the rear, or the past, we have no forward movement.

20: Office Tof!
21: Hot Glow Ultimate Warm.
22: A desk for Karl… with marks.
23: P 4 H F (peace for his fiancée)
20. I think this is simply a light but a light with far more standing than the light it casts.
21. Car parts and exposed wiring. It may very well be that the comfort we enjoy with ready transport and energy may be our downfall as the human race weakens before its onslaught… the onslaught of comfort!
22. Any opinion, no matter how large or small, must be able to change with the times. This is not to say that situational ethics are acceptable but that things change and the constant flow of hypocrisies must be accepted into the mix. Also the more entrenched and dogmatic any systems of beliefs are then the more open they must be to the vagaries of nature and of children.
23. Hidden in a box but with its own light. The cowboys head, topped with sombrero and airplane, on a tiger holds up a sword and rides the turtle flying on dinosaur wings with a penguin riding shotgun while below the garb of the cowboy covers a body with a dinosaur head with a hand held up with a magnifying glass… close by sits a governor. As close as you’ll get to a self portrait.

24: Any construct must have a solid footing.
Once we’ve learned it all we are free to throw it out and start anew.

Peter Sauerbier tribute show.


This is something I sent to Geneva at the Pierre Peeters Gallery (formely Aesthete gallery).

It’s called found object art but the late great Peter Sauerbier, 1927-2006, took it much further than that and the appellation is found wanting when regarding the vast trove of art he left to Waitakere City on his passing. That, though, is the position of any good artist. To defy that which tries to bind or hold and Peter did this throughout his life to the extent that he left us all behind and was out there in a place beyond definition even before he left us.

The found object style is an anomoly in the art world of today and it draws people from the fringes of the art world, people who often have many irons in many fires, and they work in the field not usually to have galleries run their shows, though this is always a bonus, but from a deep seated need to comment on the way of the world without the makers being the centre of attention. More so than most art the messages inherent are many layered and are often so subtle that the taught ways of looking at art fail to penetrate.

Peters story is mostly untold but if one was lucky enough to visit his house while he was with us and get the tour then it was apparent that this man is and was important as the walls of his tiny house abounded with early artworks of artists who eventually took the grand stage and they were mixed with his own unsold artworks which always glowed so much brighter.

So the man has left us but his story is yet to be told as the estate waits for the necessary funds to ensure his works are seen in a way that befits his endevours… but how do we convince the policy makers when all the normal ways of defining regard were unmet. Yes he sold some works for big prices and yes he won a few competitions but often while the children were staring in concentration with wonderment filling their faces as they they gazed longingly at his works… the adults didn’t have the cues they required and he was passed over for works that looked alike the pages in overseas magazines.

Four artists in the middle of their lives haven’t forgotten Peter and of the four three knew him well and were making art in the same vein while he was alive. They too are anomolies who find themselves misunderstood but they learned from Peter and it fazes them not as they find new ways of expanding the way this art finds the world.

Andrew Hall has the most beautiful garage in existance and from this garage issues works that twists our senses as we grapple with our sense to misbelieve what we see. We do know the objects he places together but his skill is so great that we forget the individual parts and see only the sum transformed. He is the alchemist of trash.

Kieran Donnely has left the city and builds houses from a wonderland of his own devising out in the bush. But he also tattoo’s the faithful and is out of this land often as his skills are applauded and required beyond these shores. But he still finds time to construct the objects that ask us whether our new god of consumerism is a god worth praying to. They look to be whimsical objects that hearken back to the flamboyance of art noveau but underlying the charm is a well considered opinion, and raft of questions, that if we continue on our quest for instant gratification we may well be missing something very important.

Felix Delux never knew Peter Sauerbier, he was off playing in bands at the time, but he had a welding set and spare time to indulge himself in discovering the joys of disgarded metals. Years have passed and Felix lives now in Raglan and is very keen visitor of the wonderful Town dump they have there. He makes things for his music making projects which are joys to behold but he also has fun with light.

Sean Kerrigan lives in a backyard in suburbia where he strives to do whatever he wishes whether that be building steel furniture or experimental musical instruments or his reenactment of a set of hovels. For this exhibition he has rediscovered his boxes of found objects and is constructing furniture for a post apocalyptic age.

What these artists share more resolutely with Peter more than any other talent is the ability to make their own world and exist in those worlds with the minimum of interference with the world at large. They know intuitively that what they do is at odds with the general lay of the land economically so they have created their own worlds and a great part of their success lies in the simple fact that they able to create and live in places filled with art… without needing the success of the art world to justify their existence.

So come and enjoy an exhibition that requires you only bring curiousity. A rare glimpse into a world in which No8 wire, may not be used but, stands resolute as the backbone of a culture that still lives despite the ferocity of globalisation.


Excuse me but I really am enamored with an idea these days that is about being successfully unsuccessful. What this means is that the artist is able to keep making art without being attached to the need to sell it. Selling it is merely a bonus and the act of making more of it is not completely dependant on selling it.

Why? simply because it’s more of a challenge. The questions of why go deeper and the resistance against which one works is greater. This has got to be better for the artist… but I’m not talking about working against a spiritual vacuum that sucks the life from work and makes the artist depressed and anti social… the opposite in fact. I’m not going to explain it further… thats your job to figure out whether what I’m saying has any relevance. I only ever have to convince myself.

Thinking of painting

So at the gallery they mainly have paintings and most of these paintings sell for more than my furniture simply because they are paintings and my stuff is furniture. Thats nuts, completely stupid especially when I can see less work and a quality or qualities worth defining in the paintings.

So I’m thinking of doing some paintings, not just to join in, but I have had such things in mind for a long time. Theres certain things, landscapes, though they are more buildingscapes (as theres usually no land involved – only the constructions that sit on it), that have caught my eye and I’ve thought worthy of committing to canvas for a long time now so maybe it’s time to do so.

I do have favourite painters and of course what I seek to paint is indicative of the people I look up to. Charles Sheeler has always been one of my favourite painters but it’s very hard to find his work.
Though maybe he just didn’t do many paintings.

I can see why I like them and I think it’s because they are similar to things I saw as a child growing up in a steel mill town next to a lake. These would have been the scenes that were not suburban streets and schools but the expanses that occasionally opened up before my eyes and were of mans challenge to the landscape to be worked into something of use to the human. Now I don’t want to go out and paint factories but the underlying theme of taking that which is often considered not worthy of viewing as beauty is definitely up high on my list of priorities and the subject matter would most likely be somewhat similar in that the paintings above show steel, cement, asphalt and glass.
But by the same token I’ve been climbing the various cinder cones all around Auckland city from The one down the end of Dominion round, that overlooks the new motorway, to Mt St John that is between the old southern motorway and Manukau Rd and thinking that different views from each would tell an interesting story about the motivations of the people that live adjacent to those colden outcrops of a much more violent past. Not that the molten origins of these hillocks have any bearing except the time difference may be somewhat akin to my own way of viewing the subject which hopefully means my perspective will be hundreds of thousands of years different to a regular landscape painting.
On another note it may be time to empathise with the woman who has done so much to colour my work in steel, at first without me knowing it, and after I found her work to create a crisis in direction for me.
Lee Bontecou’s work used to turn up in art books that showed american work of the late fifties and early sixties but there was only ever one or two works and I would see these works, along with all the other pre-pop art, long before I had aspirations of being an artist. I always have been an artist but for me in the early days drawing and being able to construct things were only ever tools to acheive some other purpose like making clothes and cars. But I think I still took the nature of artistic endevour as subtle influences in how I worked in the world. Upon finally deciding to go to art school and actually be an artist I mined, for inspiration, that which had recently obviously motivated me, modern pop art of the Roger Dean ilk, and did no digging in the prehistory of modernism or archeological digging in the just before now.

I suppose I instinctively knew that knowing what has just happened or is happening is a trap for the unwary as everything that is has it’s roots in peoples sub-conscious pasts and that what is now has been gleaned in some distant past and has spent decades digging its way up to the surface.

I know this for a fact, well, a fact in my subjective understanding of life, when I encountered the secret life of Lee Bontecou in a book that was full of the work she has done, in relative obscurity, after dropping away from fame and fortune in the early sixties and working as an art teacher somewhere in rural New York. I was at a stage in my own life where this book completely exstinguished my own need to make art as she had already done everything I wanted to do.

So I had subconsciously seen her art in my past and used the direction she started with to define my own directions.
whales teardrop 1994
Then after going in various directions and defining my own ideas of what art I really wanted to make I found this book of art that had been done in secret, or without having to show it, and found myself at a crossroads where everything I had hoped to acheive with my art had already been done. This came in about 2003 and was really quite a shocker for me and my most recent foray into furniture making is the me finally getting over that shock and deciding to get back into art. Actually I did do some stuff in 2004 or 2005 with fibreglass and metal but it really didn’t go anywhere. It was as if I was on such a tangent that no one got it at all… or it was just shit, I have no idea.

Anyways, I’ve done the furniture and I may do a little more but I’m not going to spend a few years trying to convince people that what I do is art. I know it’s art and I may be better off using a more conservative pallete, painting, that I’m really not very good at to lead people towards the type of stuff that really bends and stretches my abilities… metalwork, but seems so far to be far too obscure for the art buying public to find any footholds in.

If theres one thing I’ve learnt in life its that obviously obscure and obscure obviously are so fucking different as to be worlds apart.

Keeping busy

Not the sum total at all, theres another chair and a mirror thats been done and finished, but the reason I haven’t been here for a while is because I’ve been flat out doing this stuff. Still can’t manage to get good photos though.
This is called the girl with a tail and is modelled on something I did years ago. Got it slightly wrong in that the kick up to the front of the seat is too great and she digs at the underside of the bottom of the legs.
The finished Ottoman, and it’s really hard to see the cushioning, so I’ll have to photograph it in better light.
and the chaise
And the crowning glory of my efforts.
and from kinda way back
This was what started it all. Pierre bought it and that allowed me the money to buy materials and do all the rest.
kinda difficult
And to finish it off theres this little oficey chair which doesn’t look too much out of the ordinary but was in-ordinately time consuming to make.


I got a little money recently, enough to pay most of my bills or at least keep people reasonably happy, and a bit left over to get a bunch of DVD’s. I always tend to wait until I can get them in the recent releases and watch what I hope are a big bunch of good movies almost without rest. Anyways last night I got a movie called “The Wrestler” with Mickey Rouke and I watched it first simply ’cause I wasn’t expecting much and while I watched I didn’t feel I was getting much. It kinda lopped along on the border of bad acting but after a while I realised what was seen as bad acting was actually incredibly good acting because the people came accross as plain ol’ human. Kinda like the reality shows with all the stupid people but without the playing up to the camera, the edge of idiocy removed and starkly honest. Wow, this is kinda good I thought, but I still couldn’t see the point. So it’s still just lopping along and then it’s over… no bang, no twist, just over and I go to bed thinking, well, I wasn’t bored but I wasn’t excited either… oh well. I just didn’t get it but this morning it kinda resurfaced and the subtle details were so subtle it took sleeping on it to realise how great a movie it actually was.

I also read a book lately, by the guy who wrote the last king of scotland, the book prior to the movie (the wrestler) I guess, and it was kinda like the movie. It lopped along but it’s real significance didn’t really hit me until I’d finished it and put it down and a few days had passed. I kinda knew it was good because as I was reading it there were some passages that stood out, I didn’t really get them, but I knew they were gold. Gold I couldn’t see yet but I knew it was there.

I went back into it yesterday to find one of those golden passages, before I watched the movie in the evening, and now I’m going to write it down and it’s eerily similar to what the movie was actually about. I like this eerie stuff where you know theres something there but you can’t quite put your finger on it and it kinda replicates itself in different areas until it dawns on one what it all kinda means… but you never get the whole story and have to take it all in on faith that its significance to your own life is important.

The book is called Turbulence and it’s by Giles Foden.
” So many of our deepest feelings, in any case, come to us as doubtful, tangled, compound experiences. Events themselves as they happen condition the way we see previous events, making us recalibrate the chain of causation even as we teeter along it, casting all the while a speculative eye at a web of possible futures… This is what living – conscious living – is.”

Isn’t that absolutely wonderful?
My workshop is full of turbulence but it’s not turbulent. Not to me.
M.I. knob plugs?

Time flys, and gets squashed sideways, when your…

I’ve just written up a three page statement of intent as an artist, to give to people who view my furniture at Aesthete Gallery in Parnell, because there has been a little argument going on about whether the furniture can be seen as art. It’s always been art for me simply because, though it may be a chair or a table, thats merely the frame that it sits in, that which allows it to hung in a life, and the way that its put together and the way that I acheive that is of far more interest to me than the final intended use. To me it’s an alchemical process where I take the raw lead of utility and seive it through my own reflections on existence, it’s possibilities and myriad of interconnections, to make finished articles containing further orbits of electrons to make gold.

Also it’s a process of hard work and I’m not going to make it easy for people to accept what I do as art. I worked hard so I’m going to make the people who might seek to acquire my work work hard as well. I’m going to make them question what I’ve acheived and make them have to dig in territory they may not be inclined to dig in to find the treasure I feel sure I have made. I raise the question that if it is obviously art then is it really art or merely the dying off of art as it again finds growth in new areas?
the three amigos.
One chair back from its sojourn at the Nathan homestead and two more unfinished.

My plan for a grant from the Pollock Krausner trust, referee’d so far by John Radford and Phil Dadson (I need one more), is going to be about building artworks that, as people meet them, are first sculptural, then sound and light making, then furniture, then musical instruments… Thats really going to have people wondering what I’m up to.