Damien Veal

Damien Veal-

Title : All-New Science For You At Home Model Kit

Medium: Ink on Canvas

Price : AUD 250

National Graphic 
Volume CIII
Number One

About the artwork:

The term vacation conjures up ideas of travel; visiting far-away and not so far-away places, a departure from routine, an opportunity to break the everyday cycle and do something different. For me it suggests all of these things, but it also reminds me of being much smaller, at home in the school holidays, fixated on often short-lived, time-wasting preoccupations. I was briefly obsessed with building scale models of aeroplanes and cars, mixing problematic liquids with an at-home chemistry set and inspecting anything and everything in a low-grade microscope. I was fascinated by this ‘scientific’ arm of the wider world and remember being keenly interested in a variety of scientific endeavours.
The source image for this artwork reminded me of these fixations. Taken from a National Geographic magazine from January 1953, it depicts two men inflating large balloons with hydrogen from gas cylinders. The facing image shows a string of these balloons extending vertically into the sky. As soon as I saw these images I felt small again, memories of feeling awestruck by interesting people doing interesting things in a world I didn’t know enough about came flooding back. In the world I have created the pursuits of these men have been captured in an at-home model kit. The scene, complete with old-fashioned scientific insignia, garish ink-marker colours, a jam sandwich and a glass of milk, appeals to my sense of awe; for a time when I was full of wonder and curiosity.

About Damien:

I aim to present a reflective vision of modern life in my work, often combining narrative elements with social commentary, popular culture and nostalgia references. My work blends the familiar with the unfamiliar, presenting recognisable components in unexpected constructs. I am inspired by the mundane and the absurd, creating allegorical pieces that often invoke a dichotomous attraction/ repulsion response. I have a strong interest in material experimentation and enjoy working with a variety of materials on a range of surfaces. I have a background in printmaking, though I am currently interested in investigating experimental drawing and painting processes. I have developed two solo shows and participated in a variety of local, national and international group exhibitions in recent years. In addition to my studio practice, I have also engaged in a wide variety of commission and competition-based initiatives, working on large and small-scale projects, in both the private and commercial sectors.