: Cover Art

Cover Art

This section of the website highlights the cover art used on each issue of the journal, together with the artists interpretation of the work.

Use the page navigation links at the bottom of the page to view previous issues.

Vol 35(3) - The Ghoul's Hand

Chris Davies

I was flying back to Adelaide from Melbourne about five years ago. I’d just turned 60, and I was wondering how much longer I’d want to go on playing pubs, little clubs and the occasional music festival. I’d been thinking about painting again for a long time but music had dominated my life since I’d left art school in 1968.

I’d finished a four year painting diploma at the South Australian School of Art (there was no degree in those days; art education was low profile until Don Dunstan became Premier for the second time in 1970) and headed for the UK, for no particular reason. I played the club circuit around London and the Midlands leaving a trail of canvases and drawings in the houses of people I met along the way. After a few years on the road I stopped in Birmingham, the city where I was born, and found myself a place big enough to work in. The next couple of years I painted, played very little music, and completed a postgraduate degree from Birmingham University.

I worked as a musician and continued to paint until 1976, when I returned to Adelaide and worked as an art educator for the next ten years. Being forever restless, I quit teaching, went back to art school for a couple of years, printed T-shirts for rock bands, then formed a band and went on the road for the next decade. I was fifty-five when the band broke up and I spent the next few years wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life. During that time I’d started painting again, but I was looking for a direction which wasn’t coming easily.

When I looked out the window of that plane, I felt inspired to grab my camera, and I shot about fifty pictures of the ground. Those pictures started me on my present course. For me, painting has always been a difficult choice. I’ve always had problems with questions relating to the words ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Concept’ when it comes to painting. I don’t believe artists need a reason to make art. I draw my ideas from abstraction in nature: fallen objects, road-kill, down looking up and up looking down, chaos and randomness.

As a songwriter, the sound of my music is usually dictated by the sentiment of the words, and as a consequence I’ve never been restricted by style. I’m attempting to approach painting with the same attitude.

The Ghouls Hand, Chris DaviesChris Davies
The Ghoul’s Hand, Oil on board, 80cm x 52cm

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