Most public display of my artwork since 2003 has been mural commissions.
These murals and colour effects use mainly watercolour or natural paints, finished with a glaze for protection. The technique is called lazure: it uses layer upon layer of semi-transparent colour. This is a flexible method that enables colour to free itself from the flat appearance of normal wallpaints and appear to float in front of a white surface, which illuminates the colour from behind. The surface must have a texture to hold the layers, however. Sometimes a texture is created by adding sand or other material to the undercoat. The word lazure is derived from the German “lasur” meaning “glaze”.
The murals shown here represent a body of work from 1997-2006, including 9 major lazure mural commissions, over 660 sq.ms, in Belgium, Australia and New Zealand (see Workshops and Projects page); in school halls, medical/therapeutic and educational spaces for youth, aged care and disability clients. I have also completed 7 smaller commissions, for a bookshop, retirement village, private bedrooms and medical waiting rooms. The murals range from 2m x 3m to 6m x 8m on any one wall, but are sometimes embedded in a lazured hall or large room, which means the total space may be up 120 sq.m.
The use of lazure colour is under-utilized in Australia, where it is very effective for creating atmosphere, since it has a softer finish than flat acrylics and oil paints. Most lazure murals do not overwhelm a space but fulfill it; therefore they are not always fully formed, allowing the viewer to “live into” the work. They are experiential spaces that alow the viewer to interact imaginatively with the work. I use natural pigments or watercolour, but a fully saturated surfaces are more difficult to achieve with watercolour than with acrylics. Watercolour is a difficult wall medium, but is more transparent and mobile than acrylics and oils.