I've been creating/making/painting something ever since I can remember and most always with music in the background. It was a natural progression that after high school, where I learnt music and theatre arts that I went on to study Set and Costume Design at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts(WAAPA).
Following that I spent a fair while designing and making costumes and sets for both theatre and nightclub shows in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
I designed a gender bending King Lear which was performed at the Lighthouse Theatre in Woollahra, I think about 30 people came over the entire season. The critics were savage to all but my work. looking back on the photos I can only wonder why I wasn’t savaged too.
There was also a time where I ran a costume design business in Melbourne called Drama Queen for a little while and painted murals of decadent Weimar Republic cabarets, a subject I love to this day, I was even commissioned a triptych of the subject a few years ago.
And so I ended back in Perth to spend more time on my art but somehow got sidetracked by the need to eat and therefore earn a living. So since I’ve been back it’s been a matter of juggling full-time work with art.
I have however had a solo exhibition at the now defunct Soto Cafe in Mt Lawley back in 2005, in 2006 I did the artwork for a tarot based board game, a Demo CD cover in 2009, published a book cover in 2010, contributed album art in 2011, as well as other private commissions spanning these past few years.
Late 2013- early '14 has so far been very productive. Australian Eloquence published a Tchaikovsky disc in late 2013 using one of my images, followed by the re-release of Karl Bohm's classic Elektra with Inge Borkh, using another.
The remainder of 2014 was taken up with the set and projection design for Operabox's new production, the modern Australian premiere of Donizetti's Anna Bolena, modern because it was the first time since 1875 that the opera has been performed on this continent. The production was performed as part of the Perth Fringe World Festival to great success and nominated for a Fringe Award.
Late in 2015 I was invited by WA Opera to design their float submission for the annual WA Pride parade.
I'm currently working on many design commissions, particularly for Graphic Design such as logos and branding as well as an increasing number of website design clients too. Clients include Giovanni Consort, Henry Choo, Operantics, Lost & Found, OperaBox and Hustle 7 Bustle Costumes.
In mid 2016 I suffered from a series of rather serious strokes and the remaining time has been taken up with recovery and rehabilitation. As part of my self prescribed rehab I decided to rebuild this website.
2017 saw more recovery and rehabilitation, namely in the form of designing the sets for The Diments, Perth's first Rock Opera. It was such an exciting project I couldn't have said no and one that I will have the privilege to revisit in 2019.
Since then, which was October, I have been concentrating on the making of props and headgear and have once again started accepting commissions with a shop facility soon to be opened for the sale of such items.
2018 was rather busy and very rewarding as I relearn skills and improve my recovery. I have had some excellent commissions, including a full set of sexy Spartan armour inspired by the movie 300.
The year began with me doing the set design and decoration for a music video, ‘Her Shoes’ by Sophie Jane and ended on a high note with commissions for set designs for Mozart's opera Le Nozze di Figaro as well as designing and making props for a show called Wet Sounds, which made it's Perth debut at Fringe World, 2019.
2019 saw me hit the ground running, walking stick in hand with Wet Sounds heading off the Adelaide Fringe, Le Nozze di Figaro off to China and then my Nibelungenlied off to the US for performances with Pacific Northwest Opera.
Then 2020 came around with COVID-19 and within 2 weeks I lost over a year's worth of upcoming work, just like all of my colleagues working in the Arts. As a result my attention was turned to creating an online shop front to guage the interest in my work as a prop maker. Little did I realise I had underestimated the number of people looking for accurate looking headdresses inspired by those of ancient Egypt. Thus Living Horus Prop Shop was born.
Enquiries started flooding in and soon not only was I making and selling headdresses through my Etsy shop, but large set piece commissions for the local reopened performing arts industry. We were lucky here in Western Australia, being isolated for so long meant that the fallout from COVID was less severe than other places and we could go about our lives.
There was in fact so much work it was beginning to affect my health, both physical and mental and as a result my arrhythmic heart gave out in late 2021. The decision was then made to scale right back, honour the commitments I had accepted until then but concentrate solely on healing and accepting only commissions that interested me.
It seems that the word has spread about the Egyptian work I do and now my work has been featured in TV commercials, internet videos, concert and band videos. The most memorable being for Sportsbet in one of their TV commercials and projections for Powerslave, a local Iron Maiden tribute band.
The future to me looks bright. I now have the space and freedom to breathe and stoke the flames of my Creative Fire.
Em Ma'at (In Truth/Balance)