Artist bio

Pitok, Sydney based artist, designer, creator. John works in gouache a bright lurid medium of pure pigment. It’s fast drying and colours can easily be layered. It forces you move quickly and not labour too long with your art making. By day John stares at a computer screen and pushes pixels around. Painting is analogue and fuzzy, there is no undo button. He draws diverse inspiration from geek culture, abstract and pop Australiana as well as classic and contemporary Japanese art making.

That なつかしい natsukashii feeling, lost and found belongings, items imbued with memory.

Objects have a spirit of their own. They contain memories and link us with the stories of other people. Every item has been made, used, sold, hoarded, lost, discarded, broken or mended. Australia has a single-use, disposable mindset. Possession quickly enter and leave our lives, without us ever considering all the hands the worked to bring them fourth.

Last year, I helped my family pack up my grandparents home. There were decades belongings that needed to be dealt with. I pulled one set of incredibly ornate mugs out from the back of a cupboard. One was bright blue with a family of chickens, another a hideous green and brown with schools of fish swimming in opposite directions. Another brown and gold with a merchant pulling a cart. The last one, bright blue with golden songbirds. They looked like they hadn’t been used in a very long time. I had no idea how they had entered my grandparents home or how they had been used. Were they a gift from a friend? Where they bought after being admired in a store? Were they at the back of the cupboard for a reason? I couldn’t throw them away.

For several years I lived overseas. In other places around the world people have stories that link their family and community to the land around them. Stories that date back hundreds of years.  There is a deep respect for what has been passed down, possessions, place and a sense of belonging, ways of living and seeing.

This week, my kettle broke. I bought it at Kmart a year ago, so I threw it out and bought a new one for $10.