Author: sarahmurphythinker

The good the brash

The good the brash


How does it feel? It feel pretty damn good. How about swimming in velvet, soft burger buns of velvety deluxeness. How about that wheel, its pretty shiny and it would probably make a squeaking sound if you meant it. And that pay-yal lleh-mon yeh-loe roo-shhinG.


Wow, I love your style, its like a kids turtle outfit in rainbow stretched over a seat. Did you buy it so we could be closer together, so I could watch you drive in comfort. High-Quality-2014. Hello there, well your just like an expensive tattoo, stretched out over that seat, flowing over, muscle mass and curving round the sides – only more like a transfer tattoo, that peeled up, and fell off before you could really rub it in.

Whats the deal with plush interiors?

A number of factors have lead me down this road….and Im going to have to note them down.

  • Interest in 50’s visual culture, including hot-rods, and vintage car shows.
  • Practice of decorating business vehicles, including rickshaws and auto rickshaws in a number of Asian countries. Which I have documented, and compiled my favourites into my ‘Transport’ Zine.
  • The clear connection between vehicle decoration and self expression, and its use as a signifier within sub-culture groups. Hot-Rods in particular, transmit the comfort of interior space, to a mobile unit.
  • The potential to apply my pattern-making, and sewing skills to my art practice by combining upholstery techniques into my work.
  • And…More recently, I read Tom Wolfe’s written piece ‘Candy Kolored Tangerine Flake Stream Line Baby’.
  • Judy Chicago – ‘Carhood’
  • I realised Ive got a thing for upholstered surfaces. Its not really something I wanted to pursue when I was younger, but I always boasted about the fact my dad re-upholstered my family sofa with our brown velvet curtains.


Phil Brophy – Tripper

Phil Brophy – Tripper

I wasn’t expecting this! Neon Parc is an upstairs gallery space in the heart of Melbourne.

Philip Brophy – Evaporated Music

In the few seconds it took to enter the gallery and take a few steps up the stairs, the conversation stopped, the heavy bass and near incomprehensible vocals, coming from the gallery space, made me reconsider entering the gallery, and I fell into a sort of fight mode.

A few steps more, and a glance to the left – a large, comfortable yet generic sofa, facing a flat screen tv, both flanked by speakers. Visually inviting, an assuming safe and comfortable space.  I felt held by the opposing visual and audible aspects. The TV showed a familiar American teen television show from the 90’s/2000’s, dubbed with black metal words and lyrics and dark guttural sounds, with supporting subtitles. What I could see and what I could here, were so conflicting, almost unbelievable. Certainly something to be experienced. After 20 mins I left, and once outside, I felt so very calm.

After doing some research into Phil Brophy turns out he made Body Melt, which is a great face melting montage of a film.
bodymelt copy

His website, much like some of his work that I am familiar with feels a pretty punk! Theres a real sense of attitude, strong intentions and a individual way of making a mark across sound, film, graphics, music and art.

Phil Brophy.jpeg


Last two images taken from the Philip Brophy website.

Featured image from

Phil Brophy’s ‘Colour Me Dead’ exhibition at The Ian Potter Museum of Art, is coming up shortly, so Im sure I will write about that.


Tony Schwensen – Prime time

Tony Schwensen – Prime time

Im pretty happy I came across this video work, as it seems impossible to find it, or any of hes earlier works that I’ve since researched on the internet!

‘Prime Beef Export Quality’ 1999, is a durational performance work by Australian artist Tony Schwensen. Shown as part of Arts Project Australia’s ‘Let Dance’ exhibition in May 2017.

The video shows the artist wearing casual grey shorts and golden nipple tassels, dancing on the spot and moving his hips left to right, whilst grinning at the camera. He appears to be dancing in a make shift set up in a garage, with speakers, a stereo and disco lights.

He uses satire to express vulnerability, and the banal in the everyday. I guess I liked this because it was unexpected, it felt like a secret revealed, something intimate. I felt I could connect to it on a personal level, because who doesn’t like doing a silly dance every now and then!

This exhibition also featured Cate Consadine’s ‘Cut Colony I (whip), from 2012. Which sees a nude female dancer, performing whips or fouette’s in outback Australia. This appears in stark contrast to Schwensen’s video. The dancer owns the space, with her confident demeanour and intentional movements. I liked the contrast of these two works, but appreciated Schwensen’s rawness, over Consadine’s beauty.

Read about the history of Media Art in Australia since the 1960’s on Scanlines

Main image from the Micheal Buxton Collection

Nova Milne – Time blurs

Nova Milne – Time blurs

I have taken these screen grabs from the Nova Milne website splash page. The video sees a blurring of time and memory, where elements of retro western imagery, like cars, colouration and quality of the video footage, and the usage of moving text are merged together. Within this, they merge high and low art also.nova2nova3nova4

An extract from the Nova Milne bio explains this perfectly.

“nova Milne (nee Ms&Mr) is a third mind, and living archive – an assemblage of time-perspectives that began with their documented encounter as teenagers.

Through expanded installations including time-based media, sculpture, and 2D works, nova Milne create moments of connection or disruption, often taking the form of encounters across the breach of time. They release the occult potential of found material by forging new sympathies between amateur or documentary sources and elaborate new fabrications. Their process invents a de-centered point of view and the question of inter-subjectivity, forms an ongoing curiosity alongside considerations of time, mysticism, longing, and empathy.’

Nova Milne site

Kate Rohde – ornamental resin

Kate Rohde – ornamental resin

Flourish Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, 2008. Polyester resin and mixed media

Over the weekend I visited the Bendigo Gallery of Art, I hadn’t researched the gallery at all so I was really surprised at the size of the gallery, as well as the range of work on display.

I love Kate Rohde’s incredibly kitsch resin vitrines. So plastic-y, they look like there made of gummy sweets with semi transparent goo melting and merging.

I find them ridiculously amazing, there aesthetically overwhelming. The coloured resin flora and fauna designs cast shadows adding visual depth to the work. The ‘specimen’ displays are made entirely of man made materials, and visually mimic museum diaorama’s.

Kate Rohde has combined her interest in flora and fauna with her love of the elaborately ornamental baroque and rococo art movements, to great affect.

In 2009 I visited the Museum of Everything in London, which exhibited shell work, hand embroidered work, hand-painted circus signage and much more. I always remember the taxidermy drinking mice, and the boxing squirrels below.

by Edward Hart (1847-1928)
A case containing’Boxing Squirrels’ by the Victorian taxidermist, Edward Hart. 5th Viscount Bangor’s living sculpture of a tableau of red squirrels in boxing poses. Squirrel opponents shaking hands.

Images taken by Sarah Murphy, except the ‘Boxing Squirrels’