54 DIGITAL FILES ON THE THEME OF FOOD PACKAGING
The theme arose as a development from the 1997 series of paintings, ACQUIRED TASTE, concerned with the presentation of prepared food. This time I wanted to include food packaging and of course exploit digital graphics. The underlying theme of presentation versus representation or content versus form would now embrace terms of design for food packaging, the place of depiction within and around that.
In part it was a reflection upon my overall project, looking back to its roots and routes, in part an opportunity to link with other strands, such as the design of FIFTY FICTIVE RECORD COVERS, the texts of PLACEHOLDERS, the abstraction of ENCRYPTION and CREATURE COMFORTS. Abstraction and commercial design are closer than one might suppose, bear discreetly upon the practice of pictures. It is reassuring to be reminded of this continuity from time to time. The title, FEEDPACK obviously plays upon the process of feedback and a returning or recycling. So the still lives, now at a further remove via packaging are re-digested for picture and object, reflect an underlying theme for my work.
It has been a very satisfying and surprisingly swift series, quite unexpected in a difficult year.
More notes at the bottom of the page.
Some of my enthusiasm stems from taking time off in the middle of the year (to write a short story) and returning to pictures refreshed. I find it beneficial to occupy my mind in some way, rather than just relax. It provided a step back from the intricacies of Photoshop; a chance for a broader perspective. Then again, sometimes it pays to just let things stew. Previously I had begun to feel obsessed with technique. As long as I can see the software steered by a more general concern with pictures, and not steering it, I feel confident. Some technical changes have arisen simply from continued engagement with the software. For instance, I now find more, but smaller files more efficient in building a work. Some of the speed and ease in completing the series is due to such streamlining.
The theme also reflects my brief engagement with the food packaging industry. While a graphics student at Box Hill Institute (2008-10) we attended a conference with leading local designers and participated in a state-wide competition for designing a wine label (with no great distinction admittedly). But it did demonstrate how methodical and research-driven most packaging design is, how entrenched formal or abstract qualities are in the wider environment.