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Masked Weather - Something Wicked This Way Comes!
72" x 60",
acrylic on wood,1994.

I made up the words then simply painted a frozen snapshot of a fine day pulsing across the sky with a witch's hat on. I love it when 3 and 4 year old children point out I haven't hung the painting correctly. They tell me the witch's hat "should" be at the top. Thank god I painted it before "Bananas in Pyjamas!"

A Wind-borne Flower Uprooted
108" x 72",
acrylic on unstretched canvas,1997.

This painting is a further exploration in poster form of the detailed flower in the top left of "Three Flowers Seen..." I imagined the same flower spirited away by a big gusty wind in Wellington, New Zealand.

Bless me, Father.....
48"x 42"
acrylic on stretched canvas, 2017.
(framed in black, signed in black on the back.)
(Acknowledgment: My friend, Murray Hepi, shared the idea in this painting with me.)

Unfortunately, I went to Catholic schools from 1961-73 (inclusive.) My experience was that I got great tuition for my first three years, & then I got the nuns & Marist Brothers who seemed to have much more ideological agendas. For example, in 1964, a nun told our class if we said "damn" we'd go to hell. I was the first kid to say dam- I told her a dam is a thing that water runs through & I might very well go to hell for being a very bad boy, but I wouldn't be going to hell for saying dam. In the next break one of my school friends said- " That was good Duncan - now what else is Sister - full of shit about ! "
Fast-forwarding to 2017 the Catholic Church seems to have four basic problems:

they are extremely slow at doing the basic research to prove themselves wrong- for example it took the Catholic Church 350 years to apologise & say Galileo was right, in 1992!
for most of the past 100 years at least, they have been largely ostrich-like when their various clergy have been accused of sexual assault. They've denied it & buried their heads in the sand.
instead of reporting paedophile predators within their ranks to the appropriate authorities, the Catholic Church has largely shunted offenders from parish to parish & school to school where, unsurprisingly, their offending has continued.
the confessional's secrecy gets in the way of mandatory reporting for sexual offences.


In the middle of a war -
a televised footnote
from a sponsor...
36" x 30"
acrylic on stretched canvas, 2003.

The context for this painting is that I was sitting on our lounge one Friday night watching rugby league on television.
Suddenly, the telecast was interrupted with a newsflash
from the unfolding Iraq war. Live footage from Iraq showed
someone being killed in real time, right then - you could see the guns firing.
Simultaneously, ticker-taping across the top of the tv screen
were stock market updates & at the bottom of the tv screen
other football results were being ticker-taped.
This painting is the outcome of my imagining how
unrespected I would feel if I was being murdered in that moment,
instead of the person who actually was - in that moment,
those stock market updates & football results were being treated
as if they were just as significant as that person's death.

The Emperor's New Advertising
90 cm. diameter
circular stretched canvas, 2017.

This painting comes out of a very simple story
I heard some years ago. A mother asked her
two year old daughter what she saw in the ads. on tv.
The six words of this painting capture her daughter's response...

Playing around with Vivaldi's Four Seasons -
in paint & ten words...

48" x 40"
acrylic on stretched canvas,2017.

I first sketched a draft for this painting well before 2017, probably in about 2005. I painted two versions of it on New Year's Day 2010 & was unhappy with both of them. Obviously you can interpret this painting as you wish. However the following was in the back of my mind as I was painting it - recollections/memories, if you like.

1) "spring rolls " - I was imagining driving from Christchurch to Queenstown in New Zealand in September, watching all the new lambs in the rolling fields. I also imagined Chinese take-away!

2) "somersaults/summer salts" - when I was 16 Dad & Bettie bought a new home with a swimming pool & there was a tennis court next door - I thought that was heaven! Play tennis & afterwards, jump into the pool with your mates. I also imagined swimming @ Ohope beach near Whakatane in New Zealand.

3) "autumn leaves " - I imagine Arrowtown & Queenstown in New Zealand. I read somewhere that in 2003 Queenstown was voted the fourth most beautiful place in the world by 600,000 tourists in a survey! I don't know about that, but in mid-to-late April both places are gorgeous - & very cold!

4) "Tom autumn/Tom or Tim ". - just a playful pun I like.

5) "Winter Witch/ winter which " we'd been watching the BBC DVD "The Chronicles of Narnia" with our children - I imagined the Winter Witch in Narnia.

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