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January 15, 2012

Legato :: Ghostpatrol

 le•ga•to :: in a manner that is smooth and connected

by Jenny Doh

Ghostpatrol was born in Hobart, Australia and now lives in Melbourne, working closely with artist, Miso, to create artworks that can be seen on the streets and within galleries. Ghostpatrol's body of work includes small works like drawings on pencils, and very large works, like murals on buildings. The spectrum of moods that the works evoke is also incredibly broad ... from playful and adorable ... to melancholy and macabre. 

Ghost Patrol
JD :: The body of your work is quite large and I'd like to focus this interview on the characters that frequently appear on your murals and also on your works with pencils. I look at your characters and I first think: "How adorable!" And then I look a bit closer and think "How odd" or "How sad." I suppose all of these reactions ultimately reflect how very inviting they are. Tell me a bit more about the characters that we see in your art.
GP :: The worlds I create are full of different ideas. I try not to control too much of the emotions in the work. I just let the pencil and paper work it out. The places and people speak to me through drawing them out. Planning and controlling a message doesn't really exist in m work. I'd rather people make their own meaning.

Ghost Patrol

Ghost Patrol
JD ::
When you work on such a large scale like public buildings, I'm very curious about the process. What kind of planning is involved? How long does the execution take to install? How does it feel when you see it evolve through exposure to the elements, including potential humans who might alter it? 

GP :: Some pieces are spontaneous and are free to decay, whilst others take a lot of planning at a team to execute. I often get to work with design firms or architects on projects, which i great.

Ghost Patrol
JD :: Let's talk about your pencils. They are adorable. I imagine that they need to be mounted during the process of exposing the wood and then painting on them. Could you share your process a bit with us? How did they become a substrate for your art?
GP :: The pencil idea just appeared in my mind, so the next day i gathered the materials and began experimenting. They seem to strike a chord with many people. The simplicity id the key. That body of work was finished many years ago, but it's still nice to get heaps of comments about that series.

Ghost Patrol
JD :: Tell me what is your relationship with pencils? Do you prefer writing with pencils versus pens?
GP ::
Brushes are my real favourite.  I don't have a problem with pens.  I think there is a culture of people obsessing with fine stationery. It's how you use it. 

Ghost Patrol
JD :: So creating a large mural is ... well ... large. And creating a painting on pencils is much smaller. Tell me a bit about the differences and similarities of working on such dramatically different scales.
GP :: The larger works al start off small. I spend a lot of time drawing in my sketch book.  Some work just lends it self to becoming much bigger. I usually create many drafts or experiments along the way.   The difference doesn't seem the odd when you're doing it everyday.  I like to have the flexibility to move across and between sizes and mediums.


JD :: So you grew up in Hobart, Australia and currently live in Melbourne, Australia. Tell us a bit about what it's like living in Australia. Do you feel you are living in one of the most beautiful lands of the world?
GP :: I'm lucky enough to be able to travel a lot. I feel very lucky to be able to move around and see the parts of life that Australia is missing but also return and enjoy the amazing places and people in Australia. 
JD :: Was art at the center of your childhood and family as you were growing up or did you have to make it your center as an older person?
GP :: I didn't really know what art was until my early 20s. I was always drawing though it wasn't until I started university that I started to create works. I think I was creative as a younger person, but I was not attracted to the way art was taught at school, and as it turns out; you don't need to study art to be an artist.
JD :: What is usually the first thing you do when you get up? 
GP :: Early starts to clear email and update projects, then off to studio.

JD :: What is usually the last thing when you go to sleep?
GP :: Draw.

JD :: What do you know for sure?
GP :: The universe is very large.

JD :: What is one thing you can never be sure of?
GP :: We live in a multiverse.


All images were provided by Ghostpatrol. To learn more, visit www.ghostpatrol.net.


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