Artist Profile: Ray Monde

ARTIST RAY MONDE EXPLORES THE DARK UNDERCURRENT OF SUBURBAN LIFE.
ANNIE TONKIN WRITES.

Ray Monde’s artistic practice is a painstaking one – and not to mention sticky! Tearing up magazines into small pieces, Ray creates different colour palettes that are applied to canvas. “What I love about using paper are the serendipitous moments when the jagged edge of paper forms the perfect wrinkle, eye-brow or curve on the edge of a lip,” says the artist.

Applying paper to broad, flat-colour planes, Ray captures everyday suburbia. A friend of the artist recently described his work as “suburban gothic”. “There’s the familiarity of fences, clotheslines and garden hoses with a subtle dark undercurrent, setting the quarter-acre block as a stage where people live out their private desires,” explains the artist.

“It’s these quiet, isolated moments that I’m intrigued by, where people do deeply private things in their backyards surrounded by the neighbours’ gaze.”

Ray is often surprised by the conversations that his works provoke. The backyard with the Hills Hoist is instantly familiar and his work becomes a trigger for our own personal narratives.

“When I create the work, I have a story in my head, but people imbue the work with own journey that’s reflected back to them.”

His exhibition Backyard Summer at Michael Reid Murrurundi continues to dive into the suburban realm but from the perspective of increasingly hotter and hotter summers. The artist muses: “I wonder if the days of joyously jumping through the sprinkler or the backyard pool are increasingly numbered as our towns and cities run dry.”

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