Untitled Project #1 Installation view

Untitled Project #1 Michael Ciavarella, Alex Ippoliti and Ross Coulter (2011)

“Imagine something mysterious rises to the surface on a summer afternoon – shows itself and is gone before it can be identified… By the end of the afternoon, the shape – whatever it was – can barely be remembered. No one can be made to state it was absolutely thus and so. Nothing can be conjured of its size. In the end the sighting is rejected, becoming something only dimly thought on: dreadful but unreal… Thus, whatever rose towards the light is left to sink unnamed: a shape that passes slowly through a dream. Waking, all we remember is the awesome presence, while a shadow lying dormant in the twilight whispers from the other side reason: I am here. I wait.” – Timothy Findley, Famous Last Words.

In 2011 I was invited to make a work for the Project Space at West Space. Having had an interest in making paintings for some time, I invited two friends and accomplished painters, Michael Ciavarella and Alex Ippoliti to collaborate with me on a work for the space.

Neither Michael nor Alex wanted to create a painting show.

Alex said that we should make something “infeasible large.” Both Michael and Alex were handy at building. We thought concrete was a beautiful and impracticable medium. There was so much heavy labour in the work. I remember during the install taking a photograph of Michael and Alex at around 5am, covered in cement dust, looking shattered. And playing table tennis with Kat Clarke, Michael and Alex on Laith McGregor’s table tennis drawing in the gallery space next door well into the night. And Nick Dorrar showing us how to suspend the inner part of the mould using two blocks of wood and a car jack. Alex suggested we use the above text by Canadian author Timothy Findley, from his 1981 novel, Famous Last Words. The text seemed to fit.