Painting flights of fancy
Christian Morrow draws on childhood aviation memories to create his bold pieces.
"The aeroplane paintings are about wonder, masculinity, science, innovation, danger, adventure and escape," Christian says. "The perspective is often twisted to reflect a child-like view of the planes and rockets. This also expresses the contingency of flight - the impossibility of a heavier-than-air flying machine.
"When I was a child my father worked as an engineer for QANTAS and I was surrounded by images of aeroplanes, hangars, runways and jets. I made endless drawings of planes, trying to get the subtle curves and angles just right, so as to capture the grace of flight. I also created images of dark and sinister planes raining bombs and spitting fire like triumphant hot-rod war machines.
"In my current works, I continue to explore these totemic boyhood visions. They began as a series about the model planes and gliders that my father had. I never realised what a huge visual impact these experiences had on my life and how powerful the subject matter was for me until my father started sending pictures of his aeroplanes to my sons."
The pieces are a mixture of paintings and assembled materials such as new and reclaimed timber materials and metal pieces. Applied layers of paint and provisional images are scraped back, adjusted and reapplied as the image is slowly built over a period of days, months, and sometimes years. Often the assembled surfaces of individual pieces are subjected to a range of industrial processes like sanding, grinding, branding and fire.