Appreciating the subtle hues of different colours is a passion shared by paint technicians and artists alike. While the two groups may operate in very different industries, there is a space where they intersect, as Perth-based artist Geoffrey Drake-Brockman discovered when creating his latest chromatic installation ‘Kites’.
“I believe colour is important. As well as being a technical language it is an emotional one,” explains Geoffrey Drake-Brockman. “There is a current fashion for everything to be painted in a shade of grey - which I am working counter to.”
Drake-Brockman is well-regarded across Australia and abroad for his interactive, colourful sculptures and artwork. From robotic flowerpots to a massive interactive LED installations, it’s no surprise that Drake-Brockman has a background in both computer science and visual arts. Many of his works explore the intersection between art and technology and are heavily influenced by cybernetics, that is, the feedback between machines and living things.
Drake-Brockman latest piece ‘Kites’ is no different. The kinetic sculpture consists of six brightly coloured, geometric boxes made of aluminium and stainless-steel and is located in the playground of the new Sheoak Grove Primary School, Western Australia. “Each of the elements is able to be rotated by hand into different orientations, exposing different ‘colour-ways’ to view,” explains Drake-Brockman. “By rotating the elements, a variety of colour compositions can be made, a bit like playing musical chords on an instrument.”
To ensure the installation remains vibrant for many years to come and is able is to weather both the elements and children’s play, premium products were required when it came to construction. “I was looking for absolute top performance from a paint system in terms of long-term aesthetics and technical performance in a fully-weather exposed installation,” he explains. “I am interested in classic cars and have encountered the Glasurit brand in the context of car restoration and refinishing. In specifying finishes for public art my research into premium paint systems lead me to consider use of Glasurit in my art practice,” he continued.
Drake-Brockman reached out to Mike Seddon, BASF Technical and Business Development Representative, for product advice. Seddon suggested Glasurit 285-270 Pro Primer and Glasurit 22-line direct gloss would be the perfect fit for the project. “Geoffrey has used Glasurit previously and was aware of the high quality and longevity of our products. He gave me a brief of the materials to be used and I passed on the details of our customer, Neil Monneypenny, as his skill set and Glasurit knowledge was a great fit for this project.”
The result is a vivid, kaleidoscope of colours that invites passers-by to engage visually and physically. “My work incorporates references to technical colour theory - both additive and subtractive mixing of colours, use of primaries, secondaries and tertiary colours, and how they relate as compliments and contrasts under both optical RGB (Red Green Blue) and the painter's RYB (red, yellow, blue) colour systems,” Drake-Brockman explains.
Whilst recent circumstances have prevented Drake-Brockman from visiting his work in a fully operational school, he looks forward to stopping by Sheoak Grove once it is back in operation and hopes his work can spark joy and a passion for colours for many generations to come.