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Cicada Shell
Snail Shell
Estuarine Snail Shell

Cicada Shell

42 x 29cm Black Ink. Schwan Stabilo Pencils. Faber Castel Watercolour Pencils. Acrylic paint and medium. Pen nib and brush.


As of May 2012 this is the latest of the works using ink on block paper. This image is using the marks in a new way for me and was an attempt to break free of the stippling which had become a dead end and felt machine-like.


Finding these discarded shells brought home the wonder of life for us as children and one delightful year we found many hundreds of them emerging from the ground near our home. That night we gently transported them to our mother's curtains where we stood in awe as the shells cracked open and the new creatures patiently waited for their crumpled wings to straighten before they flew off into the night.

Snail Shells

Approx 25 x 20cm. Graphic pen on block paper. This has been framed with silver aluminium and white matt board.


The precise, black and white illustrations in the science book on my father's book shelves brought wonders into my life and created a passion to try and create my own. The passion included not just the illustrating but the knowledge and the creatures themselves.

Sea Shell.

21 x 10cm. Framed 54cm 

Thousands of these shells litter rocky ledges along the sides of the salt-water lagoons around here. On the sandy flats and among the weed beds a multitude of the living snails still forge a living. It is difficult to avoid wondering if the concentration of dead shells in places might not be middens left by the Awabagal peoples.

These things are the remains of small lives. They lay about our world forgotten and discarded. They are the most worthless of objects. They will become part of the shifting sands and then the dust on winds around the world.


They are intricate and beautiful and worthy of our regard without ever gaining value in a sense someone could capitalise on. That gives us permission to enjoy them without need or sacrifice.


These are the items left to us as the last signs of those lives and sometimes as I work on these images I feel melancholoy and a sense of my own mortality. One day the winds that blows these things will carry me as well and I will have no more value.

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