The Ping-Pong Table

I’m still rolling up paintings, tearing paper and burning stuff.  As I go I am photographing the stuff I have had to say goodbye to once and for all.

This one was hard. Not a great work by any means but one of those that I remember every mark, every mix. It was based on my old studio.  I had a large ping-pong table in the centre of the space – it was great to store bits and pieces, cut paper, mount works, paint flat.

The table was a conglomeration of collectables. Pieces of paper, bones, paint but it was where I was happy for a long time. I had hung on to this work for that reason. It was a series of 6 large boards -each 1 m x .700 so difficult to dispose of too.

One board had 3 ping-pong bats glued to it and on top of the bats, cassette tape boxes and inside the boxes, pieces of paint palette and on the paint palette, fish bones.

It was produced at a time where I was in transition, I wanted to paint but loved the exploration of materials and this work was about that.  Perhaps I was sensing the time to leave that ping-pong table behind.

I often dried fish bones after eating fish and my clothesline would have smelly fish carcasses hanging precariously from time to time. I liked to do this when I had caught the fish myself. I sometimes lost my “washing” to kookaburras.

There is something very primal about fish bones. Their role in this work also related back to my youth at the boatshed. The actual fish bones glued within the work had long since gone – to delicate sustain countless moves.

I don’t know if I could have discarded the work at all if they had still been adhered to the work.  Either way it has now gone and it definitely looks better in hindsight.


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