work / BEACH MOTEL 2023


Study for Beach Motel (for BW) 2018 - 2023

The words Beach Motel instantly conjure all those associated narratives that operate within and around the Australian seaside experience. A quick Google search for Beach Motel brings up countless properties scattered along the entire edge of Australia. Though this work is based on Beach Motel, Thirroul, it could just as easily relate to Beach Motels in Byron Bay, Hervey Bay, Sorrento, Huskisson, Cottesloe, Maroochydore, Portarlington, or any of the hundreds of others dotted around the Australian coastline. Essentially, this project represents every Beach Motel that many families holiday in, over the long hot Australian summer.

Its broader narratives relate to the beach, sand under feet, cool water, waves, surfing, swimming, zinc cream, coppertone, the smell of the ocean, sunburn, terry towelling, sunnyboys as well as that harsh Australian, bleaching summer light and those soft, pastel, coastal colours - the connected experiences around the collective experience of a beach motel are endless.

It also taps into relationships - external, interpersonal and intergenerational, between family and friends, children and adults. Those elastic memories from childhood, distorted over time and space. Colour often works on a similar frequency to smell in this regard. It is these multi-layered, associative and experiential triggers that appeals to me, something I have been exploring within my practice for over 2 decades - Memory, History, Nostalgia, Modernism, Minimalism, Architecture, Travel and the vocabulary of the readymade, all firmly located within an Australian vernacular or experience.

Tragically, in room number 4, of the Beach Motel, Thirroul was where Brett Whiteley died of a drug overdose on June 14th 1992


Acrylic on 18 seperate panels

1020mm x 620mm

Framed size 1140mm x 740mm