"Under the Radar"
a series of 10 works reflecting the beauty of the Scenic Rim Region

sizes ranging from 50cm (H) x 50cm (W) x 10cm (D) to
100cm (H) x 100cm (W) x 10cm (D) to
100cm (H) x 160cm (W) x 10cm (D)

perspex, aluminium, digital transparencies, LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes)

100cm x 100cm x 10cm
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100cm x 100cm x 10cm
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100cm x 100cm x 10cm
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50cm x 50cm x 10cm
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(click on images to enlarge)

100cm x 100cm x 10cm
Click here for detail
100cm x 100cm x 10cm
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50cm x 50cm x 10cm
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50cm x 50cm x 10cm
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(click on images to enlarge)

BeaudesertMt Barney
100cm x 160cm x 10cm
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BoonahMain Range
100cm x 160cm x 10cm
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(click on images to enlarge)

The “Under the Radar” project is about the Scenic Rim Region. It is a depiction of ten historically, culturally and aesthetically beautiful sites and the interpretation of them in a sculptural format. After community consultation as to the choice of the sites, aerial photographs formed the starting point of the creative process. After a bit of manipulation these images were printed as large-format digital transparencies. Elements of diffusion are both behind and in front of these images in their final state. Opal Perspex softens the light and the heavily ground Perspex façade breaks up the images and adds a visible surface texture. Behind this “sandwich” is the light source: LEDs or light emitting diodes. My aim with the light and diffusion was not to illuminate the images, it was to selectively highlight areas of the images; to “paint” with light. Structurally the assemblages are held together in aluminium housings.

The result of these formal concerns in conjunction with issues of place: ten wall-mounted light boxes which are both sculptural as well as illusionistic. One can both look AT them and INTO them; the source image is recognizable yet seen in a new light: reinterpreted into a sculptural medium.

“Under the Radar”, is a synthesis of three long running concerns in my art practice: aerial perspective, light and diffusion. My paintings demonstrate the use of the aerial viewpoint in abstract art. There are sculptures in my portfolio dealing with the power of light. There are works which are all about diffusion and refraction. With these three concerns mapped out such as they are, one can see the evolution of my new work: “Under the Radar”.



"Luggage of Babel - Part 1"
purchased by The Royal Carribean Cruise Lines

80cm (H) x 380cm (W) x 20cm (D)
neon, wood, metal, scanned and manipulated images, newspapers

This work is about primitive letter-forms, pictograms, ideograms and primitive alphabets. It takes a focus (10 common sayings about Art) and, through phoenetic translation, it changes the messages into something more distant yet personal. The neon "letter forms" on top are completely personal - they do not "say" anything in ANY alphabet. This "changability" of language is further enhanced by its "portability" as expressed through the presentation: tea chests.


"Luggage of Babel - Part 2 "

80cm (H) x 380cm (W) x 20cm (D)
neon, wood, metal, scanned and manipulated images, newspapers

In this "modern day" version the identical sayings as used in the companion piece are reduced to abstraction through the process of digitizing and a high degree of pixelation. The neon script, as well, has undergone a transformation. The text now appears in a form that any computer in the entire world would recognize yet is unreadable to most of us humans: binary code. With this system of language, any computer can communicate with any other computer regardless of the writer (speaker)'s native tongue.




cast resin, steel and neon
private collection; Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

This piece was inspired by my recent brain surgery. I began with a photograph of the incision, created a digital representation, inverted the colors (so as to take it from the gruesome into a design) and interpreted this in a cast resin transparency backlit with neon.



"Brunswick 10.00 PM"

cast resin and neon

This piece was inspired by a recent camping trip to
Brunswick Heads. The night sky was filled with broken
clouds; the moon shone onto and through them. That
was the visual source for this work – the transparent
yet substantial night sky under a full moon.

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"City of Industry"
cast resin and neon



cast resin and neon



cast resin and neon

The above five works are wall hanging sculptures and take inspiration from my painting background. I moved from painting the illusion of light to working with actual light with my move into light sculpture.






"What a Drag It Is Getting Old: Father's Little Helpers"
luggage, mirror, neon, gelatine capsules

We all try to fight off the effects of aging, some with cosmetics, some
with other methods. Having Parkinson's Disease means more reliance
on pharmaceuticals than most, but "oh well; what are the options?"
(Thanks to the Rolling Stones for the inspiration.)






try"Don't Try This at Home" plaster, neon,wood, rocks








"Disturbingly Pretty"
with K. Bartlett

glass, faux fur, eggshell, neon




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"Neon Beads"
with P. Harper



neon and perspex


neon and perspex

The above three pieces explore free-form composition in glass. Viewable from many angles, their reflections add to the complexity.
"Neon Beads" was a collaboration with P. Harper; it aimed to explore the possibilities of scaling up jewelery elements monumentally.



"Fire and Ice"

neon, perspex, marble

The first "ice cube" piece, this less structured work takes
advantage of the slight difference between glossy and matte
finishes in varying facets of the ice cubes. The interior has
several colours of red neon and a black marble base.

"Frozen Pisa"

cast resin, high density foam, acrylics, neon

Cast resin ice cubes diffract and diffuse
four colours of blue neon in this freestanding
sculpture. The base (100cm square) is carved
to attain the appropriate (as per reality) degree
of "leaning" .


"Blue Hawaii in Jailhouse Rock"
neon, wood, steel, high density foam

Obviously Neon Elvis...



resin, fibreglass, neon

A cast of my wife at 8 1/2 months pregnant.


"A Month of Murders"
neon body outlines

in sites relative to statistics

crushed glass, sand, neon, perspex

First in the series of man-made monuments


"Stonehenge Trio"
cast resin, neon

Third in this series.


cast resin, neon, foam,
acrylics and astroturf

What would Stonehenge look
like were it to be built today
(with its own "Light N' Sound"
show?) This sculpture addresses
these concerns with its jewel-
like resin surface, lit from within
(with neon) and surrounded in its
faux granite base by artficial turf.

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"Neon Desert"

perspex, acrylics, neon

In this work the neon cactus and word "desert" make
for an abstract pattern when viewed through the diffuser
of acrylic paints incorporated into the face.


"Luggage of Babel - Part 3"

luggage, newspapers, stickers and neon

Further portability of language and writing
from the earlier versions 1and 2.

"One From the Closet...
Everybody's Got One"

neon and wood

A life sized neon skeleton presented
in it's closet... the door is only open
slightly and there is no doorknob. No
one throws their own door wide-open.

"Homage to Seidler"

stainless steel, plastic, sand, neon, acrylics

This homage to Harry Seidler references
his incorporation of structural elements into
the design in the spider web symbol as well
as the ripple in the hand-ground stainless
steel (evident in the view from the top).


"They're All Still Up"

plaster, plastic, metal, tape, fishing line

This piece is about juggling things in my life:
kids, bills, art-making, medications and my
PD / brain surgeries / tremors.

A self-portrait.


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Copyright 2015 David Forbes

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