Insight / Moose Allain October 12 2011

Karen, the ying to the yang of Moose Allain was kind enough to send me some information about Moose’s work. I thought i’d share some snippets with you…

My drawings often start with ink splashes or marks on the paper, not completely random as i choose colour and intensity of distribution, but chance plays a large part. Once the ink or paint has dried i come back to them – sometimes months later – and look for shapes, perhaps in the way that people look for recognisable forms in clouds. 

I like drawing lots of small things. I take a piece of paper about 10cm square and splash some ink on it. These marks become tiny figures. I fill a piece of paper with them and then say to myself “What are all these characters up to?”. I think writing a caption transform the drawing from a pleasant doodle into something else. It contextualises the drawing in a way that surprises and delights. The joy for me is that the technique allows me to discover stories. Another technique which has a similar outcome is just to start at the bottom and work up the page. It seems simple but it is actually very liberating. I know that i don’t have to worry about what the drawing will be. 

Flowers 23 & 45, $110 each

I start with spots and spatters of ink and the drawing grows from there. I confess i’m not a botanical expert, so i invent my own flora. I can’t help thinking that, given the huge variety of plant species in the world, some of them must exist somewhere!

To make each one unique, each print has a small insect drawn by Moose just above the signature.

My Herbarium (section of whole shown below), $270

The drawing started as a grid with spots of colour. Moose then drew the flowers, named them and finally gave them their special properties. All the names are made up but sound like the sort of thing you would expect to find in an English hedgerow or an apothecary’s medicine cabinet.

Boiler & Pipes (section of whole shown below), $160

The original drawing is in ink on A4 paper, filled to the edge. I start at the bottom and work my way up the page. I have a theme in mind, but don’t plan the overall drawing, beyond perhaps a sketched grid to maintain perspective. 

Fans of Moose’s work love the fact that despite staring at the picture for hours they still find new things the next time they look at it. Apart from the hordes of people tinkering with this boiler, it is also home to a host of characters such as a rodeo star, a caped mystery man and a cocktail drinker. Can you find them?

The above method also applies to Big Jam.

To view all of Moose’s works, available in Australia exclusively through S&N, click here.