Hugo Muecke is both an artist and illustrator currently living in Sydney. With a professional background in fine arts and graphic design he has spent the last five years studying and working in Japan, Mexico and Australia. His practice is minimalistic, he finds inspiration through the world he lives in. Hugo’s philosophy; “What I see I draw”.
As an artist and illustrator, I like the idea of de-familiarisation, the ‘making strange’ of one’s natural habits or daily rituals, even security and comfort. It is our natural instinct to protect ourselves and stay within the constraints of a balanced lifestyle. To do this one stays at home among the familiar. But to push the boundaries, as I believe artists do, one has sometimes to move the context, or the frame, and take off to another setting that will put one’s own familiar in a new perspective. My practice is minimalistic; I find inspiration through the world I live in, my lifestyle choices and the places I go. What I see I draw.
The series of drawings, ‘The Reef’ explores the journey from the eastern most point of Australia all the way to Gnaraloo in Western Australia. Through a series of wobbly and fine lines, pen and paper, I have documented the australian landscape and key moments of the trip. Our first stage was driving for 10 days across the tough desert of Australia. Once we arrived in Gnaraloo we were taken back by the sublime and untouched environment. The camp at Gnaraloo was an intersection of surf, music, nature and art. This was all combined and recorded within a beautiful performance that was seemingly in sync with the flow of nature.
The Reef is a co-production by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Tura New Music, created at Ningaloo Reef in May 2012. The performance will tour around Australia in July.
Water tanks in the desert. They wait for the rain. Standing strong on wooden frames with geometric support, cylindrical bodies and weathered rusty panels.
Finch in the sticks:
At Gnaraloo station the song of bird will wake all sleepy travellers in the early morning. The finch will play in the sticks until the sun gets too hot.
Birds in Flight:
A host of sparrows dive and swirl, drawing lines in a blue sky; one taking leadership while the others follow.
The emu has the courage to dash in front of the car or casually hang on the side of the road waiting to race.
The Hawk moth was one of the many animals living in Gnaraloo. It was happy to sit on my hand.
One morning Richard Tognetti was suiting up to go for a surf and decided to wear gloves for protection from Derek’s ‘sharp edged’ modified finless board. The fingers are very precious instruments for musicians.
Coat of Arms:
I have always wondered if the kangaroo and emu are good friends. They seem to stand so far apart on our coat of arms. I hope that one day they meet and share their desert stories.
Swimming in the cove was always a treat. It was a place of discovery and mystery. The coral spoke in patterns and shapes, signs and symbols; speaking of the ocean’s secrets.
The fisherman returned from camp with a tuna fish. The chef gutted and cleaned, sliced and served. Lemon was splashed on. It tasted like the salty ocean.
The ‘Sea Wolf’ has a top speed of 100km/h and struggled to keep up with the pace of the other fast cars. Sometimes I would look out the window to see a car zoom past.
The fiberglass pieces were the remnants to Derek’s surfboards that were slightly damaged when the car took a roll in the Northern Territory.
There is a fine art to shaping. These surfboards have been meticulously shaped by Derek Hynd to fit the type of surf at Gnaraloo. The channels are carved and the edges modified; rock and roll.
I found a few leaves in my pockets. They must have been picked up on the journey across from the east of Australia to the west.
The northern territory was a blanket of green.
Mountains and Currents:
Driving through mountainous landscapes and swimming in oceanic currents put the mind and body into a rhythmic spin.
Old and New:
You can pick who is a traveller and who is a local based on the car.
I could feel the wind at camp blow through in the afternoon. This is how I saw it.
The process of preparing and drinking a cup of tea is a ritual to some and a time to stop. Tea was our greatest companion on the drive across.