What got you started into painting?
I accidentally bought a tube of oil paint one day when I was fifteen and was confused, frustrated and intrigued by the fact that the paint did not dry immediately like the acrylic I’d been using.
Do you have artistic pastimes outside your art?
Music, writing, dancing, dreaming, any number of things.
Do you belong to any art groups or associations?
Sawtooth Member, The Entanglement Test
Do you have a favourite or preferred medium and what attracts you to that medium?
Oil - it is luscious and seductive, rich in colour
What inspires you to paint?
At the moment I am interested in stimulating discourse that considers material from a
non-anthropocentric point of view. With my Tarkine piece I wanted to encourage the viewer to consider the region from a post-human perspective.
What is the excitement you get from painting?
I get excited when something I want to discuss, such as the environmental issues inherent in the Tarkine, I feel I have translated into a language that is poetic and astute.
What are the elements you look for when selecting or choosing a subject to paint?
There has to be something integral, something that generates tension - again like my TasART winning piece of the Stanley River in the Tarkine; where I am juxtaposing certain aesthetic and material symbols to create a new semantic. I want to coerce the viewer to ponder our existence in a way they haven’t before.
Do you do any en plein air?
Not since my impressionist phase. I would like to again though!
What was your most rewarding or memorable painting moment?
I was in a warehouse in Melbourne - painting and sculpting into the fabric of the wall and there were a few seconds where I think I actually de-materialised and became a force of nature.
How would you rate the TASART 2013 as an exhibition?
There were some great works - some that I enjoyed were Patrick Grieve, Meg Collidge, Ray Arnold, Paul Snell. But there were others too, like Beverly McNamara - the one with the cows next to Meg Collidge's.
As an exhibiting artist, Is there anything 'unique' about the TASART?
The set up is quirky. The port and cheese is unusual.
Who is your favourite artist or role model?
Ricky Swallow and Cindy Sherman.
Do you have a favourite art reference?
Um - the brushstroke?
What is the hardest thing for you to overcome when you paint?
My body - my environment - not usually my brain anymore thankfully!
How do you know when you have finished a painting?
Pop that last highlight on it and it’s done - old school. Of course it’s not always that simple.
What has been your greatest disaster or embarrassment painting?
I once tried to tell a joke in front of my whole house group in grade ten when giving my work experience speech and I produced zero amount of laughter. The monotone delivery probably didn’t help. Ironically, when I look back on that event - it actually makes me laugh hysterically!
What is your biggest regret?
Not being able to give a speech at the TasART award ceremony when I won the major award in 2013. There were a couple people I wanted to thank, such as: the BCAG, the judges, the sponsor Mancell Financial, Burnie Regional Art Gallery, the other Artists, my Girlfriend Nicodemus and our three children Coco-jean, Tiberius and Othello and my family for their support and encouragement.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in painting?
Try to imagine what it is like to be paint - that way, in a know your enemy kind of way, you will understand it better and be in a stronger position of control. Never let your emotions get in the way of the truth. Of your motivations, inspirations and intentions be clear about what they are and hang your hat on something firm, like - your doing it because it’s a way to engage meaningfully in the material - or immaterial reality you're immersed in. Paint being mutable is particularly adept - like language - at achieving this.
What can we expect to see from Josh into the future? What are your next art challenges?
I have a solo show at Kings ARI in Melbourne called The Parataxic Sublime in December and am excited and challenged by what I have proposed. Namely, to create a painting that moves! Literally. To make two pictures using the same brushstrokes and to make a life-sized computer screen on a wall with nothing but ink and determination.