Saturday, November 25, 2023


 Ghost Sky Oil on linen 56 x 112 cm 2023

This new painting continues my thoughts about airborne drones generally, and the MQ28 Ghost Bat drone specifically. The latter is Australia's first military aircraft in 50 years, a joint development between the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Boeing. 

Ghost Sky is related to a number of my paintings that depict Ghost Bat drones or indications of their presence. A recent painting is Ghost Shadows (2023). Ghost Shadows is similar to Ghost Sky, conveying a visual effect of dispersal or proliferation of  militarised aircraft - maybe even weapons. While I called this effect a "fragmented force", contemporary signalic connectivity ensures interconnectivity and interoperability, thus belying traditional notions of fragmentation. Maybe a better word is spawning

With Ghost Sky I wanted to create a sense of a fake sky, generated by the presence of air and space-based systems and devices. The idea to use the drone as a visual metaphor for a fake sky expands upon ideas expressed in a few earlier paintings, for example, Anomaly Detection  (2017) and Anomaly Detection 2 (2017) (below). In both of these earlier works I have used painted 'pixels' to form the drones' fuselages and wings (I refuse to say 'bodies'!). In this latest painting, Ghost Sky, it appears as if the pixels have morphed and erupted beyond their drone boundaries. Is this a kind of auto-generation, similar to generative AI capabilities? I do not know - it's a rhetorical, but interesting question. 

I think Ghost Sky appears less ominous than Ghost Shadows, but don't let appearances deceive you!

And, as always, lots more to say - but I will leave you to think about Ghost Sky for now.

                                     Anomaly Detection (Number 2) Oil on linen 120 x 180 cm 2017