Reading science fiction, drawing outlandish objects and scenes, and fooling around in the garage making stuff eventually led to studying Industrial Design at university whilst also attending art school and later going on to run a studio workshop making special effects, props and models for TV Commercials and stills photography advertising. From the same workshop we produced specialist sculptural, lighting and fit-out work for architects and interior designers, as well as producing work for exhibitions and display, and in fact anything specialist or unusual.
Here are a few examples of that kind of work.
The 'Prototype', also known as the Shadowfax Kawasaki was an early work in fibreglass design, a highly modified Z1-R that I raced in 1981 and later used as a road warfare bike (left). The photo on the right shows the bike after it was restored by a dedicated team of enthusiasts. Luckily I retained the original moulds and remade the bodywork. The Shadowfax Kawasaki story can be seen here.
Simply designated 'The Central Feature' this 12m long ceiling mounted sculpture included an 800mm diameter glowing clock and was installed on the concourse level of Circular Quay railway station in Sydney as part of the upgrade works carried out in 1994. The architects were The Rice Daubney Group for the NSW Sate Rail Authority.
I based the design on inspiration from marine creatures and forms. The body was actually a deep pearlescent finish reminiscent of a shell and the membrane-like sections are formed from stainless steel mesh but such is the scale they appear almost transparent.
We also buillt another 27m long sculpture called 'The Waveform' for that project. The sculptures were bolted to the bottom of the railway line structure of the Eastern Distributor link which is at the foreshore of Sydney City near the Sydney Opera House.
[Central Feature photography by Mike Skelton]
The Nostromo Lamp (above), the Lux Ovum Lamp, and Zulu Lamp are three examples of using synthetic resin composites and cold-cast metals in creating sculptural lighting in the style I dubbed 'Millennium Nouveau', the manifesto of which relates to hand-crafted art for the new millennium using synthetic materials and organic styling. Being made around the turn of the 21st Century, the reference is of course to the earlier Art and Craft movement and Art Nouveau, from the turn of the 20th Century.
[Lux Ovum and Zulu photography by Mike Skelton].
These two images are an example of some of the more artistic model work that was created for a Thai Airways campaign when it was handled by the ad agency Magnus Nankervis and Curl. For many years I worked closely with the legendary art director Ted Curl on high production value campaigns. Photography is by Mike Skelton, one of the top commercial photographers at the time.
Some other film, design and advertising work: Anti-gravity spherical aluminium TV, Strikeclone Gun for the film Fortress, Loch Ness monster, miniature nuclear bunker, carbon fibre body brace for Superman flying rig, acrylic íce' sculpture, puppeteered silicon fish, world's largest pinscreen Australian Bureau of Statistics Census / National Museum Australia , 27m long 'Waveform' sculpture for Circular Quay Railway Station, Millennium Nouveau cast resin bowl, synthetic snow and ice, mud men masks, test roll car crash for Kandagar film, safety rigs and fire effects.
Probably one of the coolest things I've designed is the Xemu Xeno Lamp - commonly referred to as the 'alien baby lamp'. The Global Xenoarchaeology Field Research Team is very secretive, however the concept is to utilise recovered alien artefacts to produce replica items for the market so as to fund the further exploration of crashed spacecraft and other abandoned alien technology which can be found on all continents, if one knows where and how to look. Around 70,000 of these were produced and led to five years work as a freelance concept designer with a factory on mainland China. I still collaborate with Global Xeno.