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Techniques

Gillie and Marc work together to create their paintings and sculptures as one so their technique and style is naturally influenced by the act of collaborating, and by each other. When they first met, they painted separately, but over time they could see their styles growing similar and realised they were influencing each other. Now they both paint on one canvas, or work to design a sculpture together.

Their paintings on canvas have a sense of dimension and depth, quite deliberately. Gillie and Marc use their sculptural senses to create three dimensional reliefs on canvas by applying impasto, a thickening agent, to the canvas with a palette knife or brush. The impasto takes two days to dry, then they’ll work together with acrylic to paint. Once that is dry, Gillie and Marc create black lines around the painting. This technique is inspired by Gillie and Marc’s background in design, laying down colour before black like a printer.

To give their paintings texture and movement, Gillie and Marc use enamel with a high-gloss finish to loosen up the linework with Jackson Pollock style paint-splatters. By layering the matte and glossy paints, and using impasto, they take a two dimensional image and give it sculptural dimension, so the image leaps off the canvas.

Of their paintings on card Marc says, “we started doing these because we have a love of drawing and charcoal, but we wanted to challenge ourselves to do something less simple and continue playing with texture and relief.” The acrylic paint is applied to the card as though it was charcoal, creating line work in paint that has the fluidity and simplicity of a charcoal drawing. Then they apply enamel to give these card paintings a sculptural dimension similar to their canvas art.

Gillie and Marc also paint on wooden panels, a medium they particularly love, as the rigidity allows them to be more specific with their sculptural impasto reliefs.

Almost ten years ago, Gillie and Marc started exploring the world of sculpture. They were interested in the sculptural form, but their first sculptures were actually two dimensional. They made life-size Dogman hybrids out of sheet metal, mounted them on a metal stand and painted them. The response to these works was immense and overwhelming, so Gillie and Marc were encouraged to look for ways to make three dimensional sculptures.

Their first foray into fibreglass sculpture was Good Boy in 1995, a two and a half metre long, naked Dogman holding a coffee cup. The piece proved very popular and toured the country, so Gillie and Marc began making other fibreglass dog sculptures. The life- size fibreglass dogs got a great reception, and people loved the idea of having one sitting, standing or crawling in their home.

Gillie and Marc love to play with scale in their work, and see taking a small animal and making it large as adding a layer of meaning to the work. By creating work that is very large, or tiny, they play with the viewer’s perception of what is real and the work begins to say something entirely new.

With the proceeds from the success of their fibreglass sculptures, Gillie and Marc started exploring bronze. They say that bronze is the most challenging, and rewarding medium they have ever worked with. It took them years to understand the bronze technique and process fully. Now they create bronzes that are as big as seven metres tall or as small as ten centimetres. Marc says part of the pleasure of working with bronzes is, “knowing that long after we are gone, the works will still be here to be enjoyed. That may sound egotistical, but I guess it’s kind of like having children – we see these works as children.”