International orange is the name of several reddish-orange or orangish-red colours used primarily in aerospace engineering, shipping, and in other industrial applications. It is the name given to the colour of the paint on the Golden Gate Bridge, the colour of Advanced Crew Escape Suits designed by NASA for use in early astronautics, and the colour of the Australian Antarctic icebreaking ships Aurora Australis (retired) and Nuyina. International Orange is the title of an ongoing project through which I explore the political, social and aesthetic associations and resonances of the colour international orange.
I was born in the inner south west of Sydney, where I continues to live and work. My practice emerged from and remains largely embedded within the underground zine community, and the anarchist and punk communities with which zines are strongly associated. I discovered zines as a suburban teenager in the 1990s, around the same time that I also discovered, in my school library, books on Dada, German Expressionist printmaking, and Russian Futurism. These formative influences continue to inform my practice, which includes experimental writing, printmaking, installation, zine-making, and community and collaborative projects.
Since 2018 I have experimented with making large-scale relief prints on paper rolls and Torinoko paper, using hand-carved letterform stamps. To date I have made five sets of stamps, individually carved with a scalpel from rubber, of Activ Grotesk, Helvetica and Baskerville typefaces. Initially, I was interested in exploring how the aesthetics of zines – the graphic quality of photocopied, typewritten text, for example – could be simulated or evoked on a large scale in various media, such as with stamps, or with solvent transfers (a process by which the toner from a photocopy is transferred to another surface via a solvent, with the aid of a burnishing tool). Through this experimentation I have become drawn to certain letters in the alphabet over others, (in particular the letter X, but also I, O and U), and interested in exploring their rich emotional, cultural, linguistic, and artistic associations, as well as their graphic potency and potential. The colour international orange provides a concept to meditate upon, to respond to (or not), while I explore different media and materials.