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David Ireland

David Ireland


Artist biography

David Ireland

David Ireland has always been a visual person. He is far better at observing and analysing than forms of auditory or kinesthetic engagement. He thinks it strange in hindsight that music has played such a central role in his life.

Up until two years ago he would have considered himself a musician not an artist, and to date his musical achievements far outweigh his artistic ones. However when he transitioned from his music courses to the School of Art he instantly knew he was in the right place.

The freedom to engage with a vast array of media within the Digital Media workshop allows him to use his array of influences that would not necessarily be relevant to one another.

His work tends to focus on sound, video and web implementation. In the future he is looking to further explore the relationship between sound and imagery, and sound's influence on creating both a mental and physical viewing space.

Artist statement

My grandfather has always been a figure I have admired greatly. With this work I wanted to create a lasting document of a man that would trigger memories in those that knew him and intrigue those who didn't. The piece would ideally be refined, clear and minimal in presentation. I envisioned the work centering around a classical art object in a new media context.

Shortly before undertaking the work I had come across a new technique called Structured Light Scanning which involved projecting a number of lines over an object or person and tracking lines' movement over the three dimensional surface using a stills camera. The process is a stand in for laser scanning which performs the same function. However structured light scans have a nice bonus in that they can capture colour whereas laser scans cannot. The decoding was done in a free program called Processing using a piece of open source code to decode the structured light scan and a free plug-in called PeasyCam to view the structured light scan in three dimensions within the web applet. The result is a 3D object that reflects a conventional bust.

This work is a very brief look at the life of Lloyd Ashton with the main ambition being a small tribute to the man focusing on his journey from the city to the country and a few of the reasons behind that decision. It is also made in memory of the farm itself which has been so central to my family over the years and is likely to soon be lost to us.

Artist work

Title: My Name is Lloyd Ashton
Medium: Interactive
Date: October 2010

Screenshot from David Ireland's interactive. The title at the top is 'My name is Lloyd Ashton'.

Artist inspiration

When I was young I was fascinated by the old woolshed on my grandfather's property halfway between Boorowa and Cowra in rural New South Wales. It was a mysterious place. I wasn't allowed to venture inside because it wasn't acceptable for small children to be left to explore its dark confines.

Later when I was allowed to explore by myself I was enthralled by the maze-like nature of the sheep-run like my mother before me. As soon as I saw the Wolseley shears memories were brought forth of the shears in my grandfather's woolshed as well as drawing out the excitement that these memories had captured.

With my grandfather looking to sell the farm there is less and less time for me to create a lasting documentation of the farm which played such a large role in my childhood and shaped who I am today.

A green engine with painted text, 'Wolseley' and a metal manufacturers plate with text 'WOLSELEY SHEEP SHEARING MACHINE COMPANY LTD BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND'. A large cylindrical water tank supports a small cylindrical fuel tank, drive wheel, shearing down tubes and handpieces. The engine and tanks are mounted on a wooden trolley base with four cast iron wheels.
Wolseley shearing machine. Photo: George Serras.

Wolseley shearing machine

A new shearing machine demonstrated to the citizens of Melbourne in 1885 by Frederick Wolseley of Euroka station, Walgett, New South Wales, was quickly adopted and soon replaced traditional hand shears.

Powered by a steam engine and incorporating a revolutionary handpiece and overhead mechanism, pastoralists hoped the mechanical shearing machine would enable even an inexperienced shearer to remove wool quickly and cleanly.

Wolseley established factories in Sydney and Birmingham, England. His machines were installed in shearing sheds across Australia and the world.

In England the Wolseley company began building engines, cars and agricultural equipment, as well as shearing machines.

The two-stand machine pictured here was manufactured in Birmingham in about 1930 and used on a sheep station in New South Wales.