This painting was done after my horse racing exhibition in 2014. My work explores different subject matter and genres but sometimes there's an overlap, for example, this work is an extension of my trompe l'oeil series in combination with horse racing.
Although this work portrays champion horses and jockeys from the early years of Australian horse racing to the present day, it also unfolds the changing way reality has been depicted, from lithographs, etchings, black and white film, colour film and digital photography.
It took many months to paint, and I thought I would include some progress shots of the work as it took shape. My approach was a little different to the way I often paint. Generally I block in thin, broad shapes to give me an idea of the composition, but in this case the rectangles of each horse and rider needed to be a specific proportion so it was easier to do this one at a time. If I had mapped out the entire picture, the inevitable adjustments would have made it too complicated. I always started with the jockey and judged how big to make him. Then I added the horse and finally the rectangular border around both. The size of the jockey in the next image was determined by the size of the previous image.
Track Record, 2016, oil on canvas, 111.5 x 83.5cm