Cool Clones
Cool Clones
Circa 1980
Screen print
80 x 76 centimeters
Collection National Gallery of Australia

Cool Clones was made when I had a studio in the central business district of Melbourne and it was the daily presence of office workers in the street which prompted the idea behind it. At the time I was also reading a book on corporate architecture and it was an image from that book which provided the background building. I spliced a mirror image of that photo with the original to form the oppressive wall of architecture framing a featureless arc of sky.

It was during the development of this print when I started to use strips of coloured paper laid upon a dried print to determine the evolving colour palette. I liked the semi-arbitrary layout of these swatches and I marked their position in order to incorporate them into the preparation of the next colour stencil which led to the light and dark blue strips.

I had watched a film about cloning called The Boys From Brazil and it was this movie which gave me the idea of presenting the office workers as clones. Amusingly, I saw this print at a party a couple of years after it had been exhibited and the owner told me that she had bought it as a reminder of the corporate world she had sucessfully left behind. It was heartening to hear that someone had taken the work's message on a transition to a more rewarding career.

Backgound of the screen prints 1977-1981