Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Where? Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm
I am continuing with my driving/traveling theme...even though I know it's tangential and thus perhaps somewhat tenuous....but certainly not feeble! My recent previous posts and paintings that, also tenuously but not feebly, touch upon the driving/travelling theme include On My Travels I Saw - Are We There Yet? - Hope and Looking Out The Windows
For new readers, the kind of driving/traveling I think about are not drives in cars, airplane flights, bus journeys or even luxury cruises, but rather much more exciting possibilities...jaunts that trip into the imagination, slide around perspective, excite metaphor and reveal cosmic potentials. 
In my last post Looking Out The Windows I use a short phrase, written by motoring critic Jeremy Clarkson in a review of a 1999 BMW wagon, to launch into a metaphoric exploration of looking out the windows. Clarkson wrote, Yes, it wasn't equipped with other modern features such as parking sensors, but I solved that when manoeuvring by simply looking out the windows.  .
So, looking out the windows helps us literally and metaphorically practise perspective, seeing the close and far distances. Handy, in an age where repeated and continuous experience with the short distance between eye and screen exposes us to, and threatens us with, myopic sight and perspective.
In the middle of writing my last post I also thought...well what about the metaphoric possibilities of the rear vision mirror.
The rear vision mirror presents us with the fascinating potential for keeping an eye on the past, as we live in the present and look to the future. However, cars and other vehicles, are becoming more computerised and automated, providing occupants with entertainment gadgets, and drivers with assistance packages for parking, reversing, orientating and more. The driverless car/vehicle, already in existence, fitted out with all the latest gizmos, may mean that no-one needs to look out the windows ...or look into the rear-vision mirror. If we loose sight of the past and don't look out the windows to the future, maybe we'll just experience a constant myopic present?
To see adequately into the future, we have to expand our view of the past. This quote from
The New Universe and The Human Future by cosmologist Prof Joel Primack, and co-author Lawyer and philosopher Nancy Ellen Abrams, says it all really! It is the first line of chapter 5 providentially titled This Cosmically Pivotal Moment. Note that they say we have to expand our view of the past. Myopia is not a handy afflication when expanding 'our view' is called for.
WHERE? oil on linen 50 x 50 cm
So, to the painting above. 'Where?' implies a question about a physical position, but it can also ask about a position in time. The image could be the birth of the Universe, as if seen in a rear vision mirror, which is kind of what happens when cosmologists and astronomers examine images of newly discovered cosmic entities. Light reaching us now started its journey eons ago; the past licks at our heels, and sends light and shadows into the future. But, if we don't look out the windows or look into the rear vision mirror we might miss the light and be caught in the shadows.
And, of course, the journey maybe be a spiritual one destined to reveal a place within us.
Which brings me to another painting...and question:
Are We There Yet?
 Are We There Yet? Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm

Where? was a finalist [one of 70 out 2000 entries] in 'Seeing Stars' an art award hosted by the SKA [Square Kilometre Array] the world's largest and most sensitive telescope being built here in Australia and Sth Africa. It is a collaborative project with many nations on board.

The finalists' exhibition was held in Melbourne at the Yarra Gallery, Federation Square.
You can see the finalists HERE
My next exhibition:
15 to 27 October 2013 at Graydon Gallery, Brisbane.
I am really excited about this show. Shall keep you posted!
Until next week,

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Landscape of Everything oil on linen 80 x 140 cm

I really like the car enthusiast show Top GearThe reason I do is that I am on, what is transpiring to be, a multiple year search for THE right new car. I started looking about 8 years ago, when my car was about 14 years old. That's right, it is now nearly 22.

My car...is...a...Volvo station wagon. AND, I love it because it has plenty of room for my paintings. I can easily carry my 120 x 160cm paintings in the back, as well as my 90 x 180cm ones. Anything longer than 180cm goes on the roof racks...only for short distances...no open highway driving...and yes I wrap them tight. I can pack my car with an entire exhibition of variously sized paintings...around 24 of them!

So....I want a car that carries my paintings, but as the years have passed, station wagons and many SUVs and 4 wheel drives have shrunk. PLUS, the designers have sloped car rear ends, so that the inside back space is dramatically diminished. AND, visibility is also. WHY, OH WHY?!

My Volvo has a strong square back and I can stack and stack...easily. But, even Volvo has taken to sloped backs in their later model cars and SUVs!

In Jeremy Clarkson's vehicle review in the Weekend-End Australian A Plus 4-5 May [page 15] he wrote about a journey he made in a 1999 BMW 5281wagon. The journey was across Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. He made a strong argument for not giving up on your old car!

He made another short remark that made me giggle.

He wrote about the 1999 BMW:
Yes, it wasn't equipped with other modern features such as parking sensors, but I solved that when 
maneuvering by simply looking out the windows.

Well, I had to laugh. I tell my children that people have to be careful not to abdicate their brains to technology because come the apocalypse [natural disaster, space debris hitting an important satellite or whatever] when GPS systems, computers and a plethora of other technology stops working, people won't have the practical skills to survive...OR... even think to simply look out the windows, literally and metaphorically!

I get told...Mum you're so weird...! Yes, but I can parallel park, without parking sensors....first go!

I may be weird, but if people don't look out the windows what skills, of all kinds, are we losing? And, from an artist's point of view what will we miss and what will we have to do to get people to look at our work? I imagine a future where people 'look' at 'art' with media devices embedded into their glasses... or even implants, while their driverless car sweeps across landscapes that no-one sees. I suspect short-sightedness [literal and metaphoric] will be a problem...but maybe only if people think, or are lead to believe, they do not need to look out the windows. Conspiracy?

And, what about not needing to look in the rear vision mirror*...now that's also a powerful metaphor!

Regular readers know of my fascination with perspective, distance and cosmology. But, I sense a collision between dexterous visioning of perspective and a myopic romance with the kind of technology that purports to be 'helping' by making it seem unnecessary for us to look out the windows.

In an age where cosmological research is discovering more and more about the close and far distances of the Universe [Multiverse] a population afflicted with myopia will not be a great asset! Navel gazing never has been. What would be preferable is a dexterous ability to see multiple perspectives, even simultaneously. No, not a driverless car kind of programming, but a human capacity that embraces all aspects of imagination and practicability. The kind of capacity that stretches boundaries in all directions.

The image of someone sitting in a driverless car, not ever having to look out the windows [which are probably tinted black anyway] is a powerful metaphor. AND imagine if there are a number of people in the car...all being 'entertained' by technological devices, embedded or not. No-one talks, no-one looks out the windows...the physical boundaries of the car are obvious and emblematic...as are the imaginational ones. The screen is mistaken as a window. The boundaries are crushing.

I hasten to add I am not anti-technology per se. I grew up in a house where we always had the latest and greatest new gizmos...my Dad is a HAM amateur radio enthusiast...need I say more?! After decades of exposure to technology and seeing how people relate to it, I do not see it as the proverbial 'lolly shop' of sweetness.

Yes, and I 'get' the irony of me writing this on a computer screen and you reading it on a screen of some kind.


*Posted Jan 2014: I have subsequently written a post

and added May 2014

Above is a photograph taken in 1979 by my brother Wilfred Brimblecombe [copyright]. [He was up a tree] It is the main farmhouse on our parent's grain farm, our childhood home. The place was sold about 25 years ago. Notice the small hut-like building on the right of the main house. This was my Dad's HAM shack, full of all kinds of electronics and in latter years, computer equipment. Also, notice the tall aerial just in front of the HAM shack...its various antennae sent and received many a communication. This included getting a signal from Sydney so we could watch the TV Dad made in the early 1960s - long before many Queenslanders had access to television. The tall aerial was transported to my parents' new home when they retired.


Monday, May 13, 2013


Meeting Place Of The Mind Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm

I know it's a big title with an enormous scope. But, I have no intention to analyse 'mind' or 'consciousness' or even 'cosmic age' in an academic way.
What I thought I would do is curate an online exhibition of my paintings that touch upon various aspects of mind and consciousness in a cosmic age. Regular readers will know that these three elements, amongst other things, pervade my work either overtly or subliminally.
So here goes!
Meeting Place Of the Mind [above] is a particular favourite of mine. It is a painting where opposites, represented by the male and female figures, merge into one. The dendritic trees-of-life and the neural-like appearance of the merged figures evokes concepts of mind and all the elements within. The 'meeting place' is in an indeterminable place of time and space. I particularly did not use the plural of 'mind' in the title, because I wanted The Mind to be something more than simply a collective.
You can read more at my previous BLOG post HERE
Price etc details are on my website HERE
The Hidden Seen In My Mind's Eye Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2004
The Hidden Seen In My Mind's Eye is an earlier painting [2004] when my vision was still more Earth bound than it is now. Yet distant horizons beckon with their cosmic promises! I remember titling this painting...it just came to me...and as time passes I have more and more revelations about what it might mean. After all the word 'hidden' asks...no teases...for revelation.

I love the idea that the mind may have an 'eye'. What do you think?

All the details for this painting are on my website HERE

 The Beginning Of Everything Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm
Perpetual Beginning Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
The Beginning of Everything is a painting that tries to envision those nano seconds just after the Big Bang. So it's really a 'landscape' of the beginning of the Universe! But, does this also mean the beginning of consciousness? If we are star dust, then were the first small signs of consciousness in existence even before we humans manifested into flesh and blood? I don't know, but gee it's fun to think about this kind of stuff!
Perpetual Beginning : Constant change is the theme of this painting. In fact, perpetual constant change. Each change is a new beginning, so we experience perpetual beginnings too. This is an experience that crosses all spaces and places. In the 21st century we are learning more about the Universe. How is this affecting our understanding of consciousness? Are the ever increasing horizons of the quantum and cosmic worlds revealing more about consciousness?
For pricing etc details for The Beginning Of Everything please click HERE
For pricing etc details for Perpetual Beginning please click HERE

Multiverse Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm

Multiverse is another painting, like The Beginning Of Everything, which can be 'read' as a metaphor for mind or consciousness. How so with Multiverse?

Here is a quote from my previous post for Multiverse:
The tree in Multiverse is my much loved transcultural/religious tree-of-life/knowledge. Its branches weave the fabric of Space, which can also be seen metaphorically as the fabric of our soul. In one nano-second we can propel perceptions from the outer reaches of the imagined universe, to the inner reaches of our subconscious, our psyche, our soul. I love the feeling in my brain when my imagination swings from the outwardly vast to the inwardly intimate, but equally vast in possibility. It's a distance thing! From a soul point of view, the small portals in Multiverse offer potentail conduits to new discoveries about ourselves, new connections to who we are as we reflect upon experiences that have taught us who we are not.

For pricing etc details for Multiverse please click HERE

 The Colour Of Knowledge Oil on linen 62 x 82 cm

Birth of Knowledge and Faith Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm

The two paintings above The Colour Of Knowledge and Birth of Knowledge and Faith are metaphoric 'readings' of stories from the Bible. Like many stories, the depths of meaning go way beyond literal interpretations. And, many religious stories are shared across religions, revealing patterns that speak of core traits...or maybe one consciousness?

In The Colour Of Knowledge the moment when Eve takes from the tree is depicted. As she takes from the tree-of-knowledge opposites enter the world/consciousness. Prior to this, 'nakedness' and difference could not be seen, as opposites did not exist. Between new found antimonies is a space where an array of knowledge exists. This is represented by the colour that emanates in The Colour of Knowledge. 

The Birth of Knowledge and Faith This is a quote from my previous post:
Knowledge and faith, go hand in hand. For me they are dance partners taking us on a journey through the close and far distances between antimonies, where we have potential to 'find' ourselves by experimenting; by finding out who we are not, in order to know who we are.

For pricing details etc for The Colour Of Knowledge please click HERE
For pricing details etc for The Birth fo Knowledge and Faith please click HERE

Beyond The Dark Night Of The Soul Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm

Here is a quote from my previous post:
I deliberately put the word 'beyond' in the title of Beyond The Dark Night Of The Soul [above] to indicate that even though a journey into the 'dark night of the soul' is something most people will experience, at some stage in their lives, there is a place beyond the suffering.

This painting speaks of mind, spirit, consciousness and more. It suggests that the journey of life, whilst turbulent at times, is just that...a journey where we experince highs and lows, we learn and we imagine.

The idea of a 'beyond' resonates with cosmic potential.

Cosmic Address Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm
Cosmic Address is the most recent painting in this online exhibition. The 'address' need not be physical! Maybe the mind is a reflection of the Universe [or even Multiverse]? Where would that place consciousness? Perhaps everywhere!
Cosmic Address will be in my next exhibition called:
COSMIC ADDRESS 15-10-13 to 27-10-13 at Graydon Gallery, Brisbane. I am really excited about this show. Shall keep you posted!
I hope you have enjoyed this selection of paintings.
My friend Dr. George Blair-West's award winning inspirational novel 'The Way Of The Quest' has been FREE for Kindle download over the Mother's Day weekend. The deal closes at 5 pm today Monday 13 May [Brisbane time] Check it out HERE
Over the weekend the book has hit #2 and #5 (ahead of Ellen DeGeneres latest book!) in the Amazon Bestseller lists in the Metaphysical and Motivational categories.  
Until next time!

Sunday, May 05, 2013


Hope Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm

So...I was thinking about hope.
Regular readers will know I have written about hope before [links below].  I again have been thinking about hope, for a number of reasons, but also in reference to my last painting and post Are We There Yet? The question implies a future destination, whether it be a literal place or a state of being. Is there hope implied in the question too? The more excited we are about a destination, the more likely we are to ask, especially repeatedly... 'Are we there yet?'... don't you think? If the destination is not a good one, then the question implies the hope that we don't get there!
I was going to call this painting Hope Springs Eternal, from Alexander Pope's long Essay On Man It is a short phrase from Epistle 1. In the end I decided on deceptively simple Hope
Hope humbly, then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, He gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
I think Pope's poetry implies a future, even if it is death. But, that death is not the end of the soul...'life'...so Hope springs eternal...
As regular readers know, I sometimes think about apocalyptic futures: the demise of humanity and/or the planet at the hands of aberrant individuals or groups, or by 'natural' means such as wayward meteors slamming into Earth, or the 'natural' death of the sun and Earth's slow destruction.
I know, I know...all of this does not sound too hopeful!
Out of the gloom hope raises its new shoots. For instance, hope drives much of science and philosophy...otherwise why would scientists and philosophers continue to ask questions? They hope for answers...and then...even more questions. Hope lives, even in the face of apocalypse! Hope is part of human complexity, and it is this complexity that gives hope for the future. 
Pope wrote the first Epistle of the Essay On Man in the context Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect to the Universe. In the 18th century humankind's understanding of the Universe was different to the understanding we have now. Yet, through the arts humanity attempts to vision its current understanding at the same time as posing questions...similarly to scientists and philosophers.
 He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied being peoples every star,
So, where does my painting Hope fit into all of this?
When I imagined this painting I wanted a kind of post-apocalyptic 'landscape', as if remnants of Earth have been scattered across the galaxy. I wanted to suggest that these remnants could be metaphoric 'landscapes' of the human soul and imagination.
In the painting I have nine remnants of 'landscape', with one obviously issuing forth new life. Yes, my tree...the tree-of-life, the tree-of-knowledge lives on in a post apocalyptic 'landscape'! With life and knowledge there is hope...and with hope there is life and knowledge.
The 'landscape' remnant from which the tree erupts, is painted in slighty different colours compared with the other remnants. Its predominantly blue colour was chosen on purpose, to represent water a symbol of the subconscious, I imagine, more closely linked to soul. Water is also the 'blood' of life, the nurturer of growth, the essence of body. A few of the other 'landscape' remnants have glimpses of green, a colour that teases us with the potential for life, growth and renewal. Maybe, on these remnants, there are small shoots of life [trees] too small for us to see...yet? Hope!
I also liked the idea of 'landscape' remnants, because it helps untether concepts of landscape from being Earth bound, forcing new literal and metaphoric perspectives which, in turn, give rise to new 'landscapes'. I've previously written about some of my untethering landscape ideas.
Below is a photo of one of my initial sketches for Hope. Just thought you might like to see my very cursory sketch. I often do these kind of quick sketches to help my mind's eye take control of  the paint brush. My children's old and unused school pads come in handy.
Sketch for Hope
  • The Art News is a dynamic website featuring an array of article, reviews and news about visual art in Australia. Each Friday they have what's called 'New Work Friday' and three of my recent paintings were selected for last Friday's 'New Work'. Check 'New Work Friday' out by clicking HERE
  • COSMIC ADDRESS is the title for my next exhibition 15-10-13 to 27-10-13 at Graydon Gallery, Brisbane. I am really excited about this show. Shall keep you posted!