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  • Ray Monde

What are the rewards for the hours in the art studio?

I've got my first solo show in a commercial gallery coming up in May - at Michael Reid Murrurundi. It's an extraordinary opportunity to showcase my work to an unseen audience. I have an extraordinary sense of obligation to 'do a good job'. To create works that will not only resonate with the audience but will also reward the gallery with sales.

Nude woman sunbathing with garden sprinkler by Ray Monde

I am coming to realise I need to dismiss the thoughts running through my head 'Who would buy this?' and instead focus on producing the work. Focus on what I am trying to say, what these suburban scenes mean to me - and potentially may have some connection with someone else.

Thankfully that's where my artist's sketchbook comes in handy. It's where I quickly put down simply scamps, very rudimentary sketches of ideas as they pop into my head.

By doing this I am able to think back to what was in my head, and revisit that moment. In many ways I am jealous of these simple three second sketches as they often capture the moment at a glance that seem to take only a moment but then consumes me in the studio as I try and do them justice.

Woman putting on make up on a building site by Ray Monde

After I finish a work, I then set it aside. Someone on social media recently said this work, "Salvation Street" was weird. And it is odd. It's a fashion-forward woman in heels, putting on make-up on a building site.

But why is she doing this? Has she been doing the construction work? Is she preparing to hang-out with a posse of sweaty builders? Or is this her building project - her chance to get ahead? I have my own narrative for this work, but what I love the most is what other people see in my work - it's their stories that bring these works to life and that's what keeps me going - burning into the night.

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