Ox Herding Pictures by George Duckett

Selections from a series of drawings.

About this project: "These images are a selection from a series of seventy 'tiles' (105 x 105 mm) that combine to form a composite piece titled ' Ox-Herding Pictures'. This is in reference to a series of ten pictures traditionally attributed to Kakuan, a 12th century Chinese Zen master. These images and accompanying poems have been used as a an analogy  for Zen training since Chinese antiquity. Chi-Yuan wrote in the 15th century, describing their meaning was 'like attempting to draw a square circle'.

They are drawings on board deliberately using a restricted palette, media (paint, graphite, ink) and motif. The forms are stencilled using the discarded support of an unknown architectural model. This seemed like the perfect analogy for 'iso'; every day presents as the same day but if fully engaged, each day had a nuance and an energy that belied the apparent repetition.

My intention was to construct images with a surety of hand and lightness of touch like taking a photo or a brush and ink painting. The images that mirror this intent are the rare exception. Mostly I had to work backwards and forwards, media on and then off, until something emerged that was of interest. Stencilling and the repetition of form  enabled a planar construction; the two dimensional surface becoming a shallow three dimensional arena for the motifs to speak. They have become an interim language or building blocks, a sporadic journal of days."

Scroll down to browse through the gallery of images in this entry and to find out more about the contributing artist.

About the artist: "Georgina Duckett is currently studying the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation.  Her studies began in the painting department of R.M.I.T. Her creative practice has been preoccupied with manipulating media at the peripheries of its recognised form. This has manifested as paintings  becoming bas reliefs, a post grad in sculpture at V.C.A and recreating 3D forms, the exploration of cast media and the found object,  textile based projects, ephemeral work and currently a return to drawing, enticed by the simplicity of means. She has exhibited extensively both in Melbourne and Central Victoria where she currently resides. Her work is held in several collections including BHP, Deakin University, Mackay Library, State Library Victoria, and Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery."

We asked, our artists answered: why does creativity matter now?  "The sameness of days is like being at sea. Creative practice is a sextant. Some days I take off more paint than I place, some days three images will declare themselves finished, some days I question, some days I prepare boards. The important thing is I am there, engaging in a dialogue and  listening. It is looking, but I feel it as a listening. This is the business of creative practice. The material outcome is an aside. The paradox is the need to invest in the outcome, otherwise one travels nowhere. Participating as audience with others’ creative practice, my immediate response is gratitude for the effort. An involuntary calculation of people involved, resources, expertise, truth at a cost, the long hours. Next is gratitude for the sharing of insight. My personal preferences are irrelevant, whether compelled or repelled. Engaging with others’ creative practice requires the same careful intermediary listening and the thrill of unanticipated outcomes."