Work for Tired Eyes


Work for Tired Eyes (figures in the landscape), 2010
acrylic on magazine page
approximately 310 x 210mm
collection of the artist

Work for Tired Eyes

These sheets of found, printed material (magazine pages, posters etc) overpainted with black acrylic paint are made to be viewed specifically in ambient daylight; preferably frontally-lit and certainly not under fixture lighting. They are presented singularly or in constellations, pinned and unframed.

Economical in process and spare in their picturing the Work for Tired Eyes are concerned with states of subsumed, or perhaps consumed, figuration. Here, any figurative presence is evinced only indirectly. If it is at all, it is as a consequence of the cavities, bulges, rippled fields and tensionings of the paper that are formed by the absorbing and repelling reactions of the now-lost imagery to the all-covering black acrylic medium.

Comprehension of the potentially-figurative content of these monochromes is contingent, dependent on the interplay of changeable illumination and shifting viewer position in relation to the light reflecting off the undulated surface of the sheet (and potentially troubled by shifting, localised areas of optical instability - a tremor - that seems to be in the picture when viewed under specific conditions of illumination that test or 'strain' the eye).

Two large constellations of the Work for Tired Eyes were exhibited in the 2010 group shows It happened that, ST Paul St. Gallery, Auckland, and Still Vast Reserves: II, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne; whilst smaller presentations of the sheets appeared in the 2015 exhibition Propositions: Part 3, Brisbane, and in knell dobre glas, Quadrado Azul, Porto, in 2012. Two different pairs of these works have in recent times entered the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Canberra, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.


Work for Tired Eyes (figures in the landscape)
installation view It happened that, AUT, Auckland 2010


Work for Tired Eyes (figures in the landscape), 2010/11 pair
posters, acrylic paint
ea. 1200 x 840mm
Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Canberra


Links to Work for Tired Eyes pages on the website:

knell dobre glas

It happened that

Still Vast Reserves: II


Work for Tired Eyes (figures in the landscape), 14-2012
poster, acrylic paint
1270 x 700mm
Private collection, Brisbane