A Well Made Man -Comparing Heroic Views of the Colonial Male

While  travelling  in the USA  in July and August 2017 I have begun a new series that is a tribute to Walt Whitman

But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face, 
It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists, 
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees, dress does not hide him, 
The strong sweet quality he has strikes through the cotton and broadcloth, 
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more, 
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-side. 

from the Body Electric poem 

Recently I have found out that Australia’S equivalent to Walt Whitman the colonial bush poet Henry Lawson had an intimate relationship with a young man that he writes about with great tenderness. Henry Lawson Queer Hero  

I have found a way to compare and contrast homoerotic views of the colonial male across to countries USA and Australia and in doing so explore the nature  of freedom and equality and our queer birthright to both
My art work will also celebrate the centrality of the queer perspective to notions of masculinity in both countries. There is also an opportunity to link with my long running exploration of freedom in the Eureka series Stars of Eureka Dreaming

Here is a picture of Henry Lawson circa 1900

and  a quote from his journal  

"For my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways / And deep ways and steep ways and high ways and low; / I'm at home and at ease on a track that I know not, And restless and lost on a road that I know."

and one of Walt Whitman circa 1890

 My first shoot in the USA in 2017 was in a barn in Pennsylvania  with local worker Ray.


I then approached a guy  living in Brooklyn -we ended up shooting in his  apartment (Walt Whitman lived in Brooklyn and wrote about it in his poetry

As part of this process I am looking at more gritty less perfected idealism about the male figure. I am  enjoying the real grounding hairiness of this model.

I went back to the USA in July 2018 and hope to return in 2019

 Please Contact me on if you want to model for this series in the USA or Australia
I am also looking for a curator with a background in Colonial or New World gender studies and galleries in Australia or the USA interested in showing the work

Be with people who find you attractive

As an "ageing homosexual" recently turned 60 I find myself  becoming more and more invisible in the youth obsessed English speaking cultures I know. There have been a number of recent scarring events when some of my close gay friends ignored me in the pursuit of the younger and prettier.

Thankfully this is not the same in Latin and Asian countries or even in Europe generally.
This picture was taken by a 21 old female artist friend Morgan on a jaunt to Vicenza last summer.  

I couldn't contrast this more highly with the warm welcome I have received in recent catch ups with my school and university friends, all of them straight.

I am going to move towards kindness as the Sufi poet Rumi recommends and I will find people who find me attractive to be with, whatever their age, gender or orientation. 


The New Testament is a Suicide Note

One of the secondary students I taught yesterday had a look at my studio and asked- "are you religious?  " and then last night I had a dream.
I am looking at an old church,  I am outside and opposite is a door I am looking at.  I can see some type of electronic eye between the door and the door frame. Someone tells me that if I  go in, I will set off an explosive device and I might be killed or wounded. .

 I am not sure what to do,  I am happy to observe from the outside and I don't put pressure on myself to go in ..  in a moment of clarity I feel I know what is inside the church - there are suicide notes in there

Today reflecting  on the dream I  realise the New Testament is one long suicide note. I have many friends who are gay and committed Catholics and its difficult to admit I am not one of them

 It is a gruesome story about a father who conceives a son only to have him killed in the prime of his life . It is a horror story where everyone the Son  loves and he himself is complicit in a bizarre plot to have him killed. 

There is a deep belief in out society that young men should be sacrificed for the good of the tribe, race, religion or nation 

Three years ago I travelled through Morocco with a lovely couple -she was Irish he was Australian . Their only son had been killed serving in the Australian Army in Afghanistan - overcome by the sheer depth of their grief I could not offer any words of consolation.

I see how readily politicians offer up our sons -and now our daughters- to fight in overseas wars thousands of miles from our borders . Why do we allow them to do it ? Patriarchal myths from Christianity to ANZAC make us think its right and proper. As a father of two sons I know its obscene. Religions and artists who work for them glorify the shameful willingness of the patriarchy to sacrifice its own sons