Painting 2 Journal

Module 1: Pop Art

What is Pop Art

Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s and flourished in the 1960s in America and Britain, drawing inspiration from sources in popular and commercial culture. Different cultures and countries contributed to the movement during the 1960s and 70s.

Key Ideas

  • By creating paintings or sculptures of mass culture objects and media stars, the Pop art movement aimed to blur the boundaries between "high" art and "low" culture. The concept that there is no hierarchy of culture and that art may borrow from any source has been one of the most influential characteristics of Pop art.

  • You could argue that Abstract Expressionists searched for trauma in the soul, while Pop artists searched for traces of the same trauma in the mediated world of advertising, cartoons, and popular imagery at large.

  • Young artists felt that what they were taught at art school and what they saw in museums did not have anything to do with their lives or the things they saw around them every day. Instead they turned to sources such as Hollywood movies, advertising, product packaging, pop music and comic books for their imagery.
Reflexivity: the fact of someone being able to examine his or her own feelings, reactions, and motives (= reasons for acting) and how these influence what he or she does or thinks in a situation.

Essentially it means the ability to stand back and look at your thinking and realise hey, maybe my view of reality is tainted by my desires.
 Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962

The Pop artists did images that anybody walking down Broadway could recognise in a split second — comics, picnic tables, men’s trousers, celebrities, shower curtains, refrigerators, coke bottles — all the great modern things that the Abstract Expressionists tried so hard not to notice at all.
— Andy Warhol

Inspiring artists and artworks

  • C.O. Paeffgen
  • Alex Katz
  • Stephen Powers
  • Peter Blake
  • R.B. Kitaj
 Roy Lichtenstein,  Look Mickey , 1961, oil on canvas, 121.9 cm × 175.3 cm

Roy Lichtenstein, Look Mickey, 1961, oil on canvas, 121.9 cm × 175.3 cm

 Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl, 1963

Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl, 1963

  Stephen Powers ,  Everything is Shit , 2017, Screen print in 4 colors on 254 gram Coventry Rag paper, 24 × 24 in; 61 × 61 cm

Stephen PowersEverything is Shit, 2017, Screen print in 4 colors on 254 gram Coventry Rag paper, 24 × 24 in; 61 × 61 cm

  Stephen Powers ,  If You Were Here I'd Be Home Now , 2012, 10 Color Silkscreen Print on 335 GSM Coventry Rag, signed and numbered (unframed), 24 × 24 in; 61 × 61 cm.

Stephen PowersIf You Were Here I'd Be Home Now, 2012, 10 Color Silkscreen Print on 335 GSM Coventry Rag, signed and numbered (unframed), 24 × 24 in; 61 × 61 cm.

 Ben Tankard, Unpopular Penguin 200, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 150cm x 110cm

Ben Tankard, Unpopular Penguin 200, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 150cm x 110cm

  C.O. Paeffgen ,  Bischoff , 1989, Acrylic on canvas, 66 9/10 × 37 4/5 in; 170 × 96 cm

C.O. PaeffgenBischoff, 1989, Acrylic on canvas, 66 9/10 × 37 4/5 in; 170 × 96 cm

 Peter Blake, Self-Portrait with Badges, 1961, oil on board,    

Peter Blake, Self-Portrait with Badges, 1961, oil on board, 

 

 R.B. Kitaj, The Man of the Woods and the Cat of the Mountains, 1973, oil on canvas, 152cm x 152cm.

R.B. Kitaj, The Man of the Woods and the Cat of the Mountains, 1973, oil on canvas, 152cm x 152cm.

 James Rosenquist, I Love You with My Ford,1961. Oil on canvas, 210.2 x 237.5 cm.

James Rosenquist, I Love You with My Ford,1961. Oil on canvas, 210.2 x 237.5 cm.

 Ben Tankard, Pure Chaos, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 150cm x 150cm.

Ben Tankard, Pure Chaos, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 150cm x 150cm.

Robert Rauschenberg 

James Rosenquist

Ideas

I really like the self portrait by Peter Blake where he has included a bunch of pins on his jacket that are representing popular culture.  I'm thinking about using this piece to inspire mine.  I have this idea of having 2 self portraits, one of me in the 90s and a present day portrait (2018).  On these portraits I will cover my face with the logos of companies I have been bombarded with depending on the era.  I know in the 90s there were a lot of big brands which have since died out or become 'uncool'.

Brands and popular culture of the 90s

Brands and popular culture today.

Starting to paint

 Current day portrait will be based of this image

Current day portrait will be based of this image

 initial sketch up

initial sketch up

 initial sketch up 

initial sketch up 

 Under layer prep

Under layer prep

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Brought the paintings into the studio and started to apply more layers.  Not sure how I feel about them yet.  The left portrait is defs too dark and doesn't feel like my style.

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Studio 2

During studio 2, I managed to have a group discussion with Simon, Lachlan and Ilijana about our current progress.  To be honest I wasn't really feeling my current idea and raised this with the group.  Simon essentially suggested paint how I normally paint but include elements of pop art or popular culture that have influenced the work.  I think after the group discussion I'm going to go back to square one and go back to painting my style but in response to popular culture today.  Simon also suggested I take a look at the following artists: Gareth Sansom and Gonkar Gyatso.  After looking at Lachlan's current work, I liked how he was able to abstract objects in life to simple lines within his work.  This maybe something I can experiment with in my work.  Using the same style now but actually abstracting popular culture references from real life. 

 

Gareth Sansom

Exploring Brisbane galleries to get some inspiration

TW Fine Arts - Taylor White and Kimberly Rowe

Jan Manton Gallery - Simon Degroot

Thinking more about pop art and popular culture

Reflecting back on the current works in response to pop art and the discussion with Simon, Ilijana and Lachlan, I wanted to take a different direction and paint in the style I normally paint but with popular culture influences.  I started to think about brands, icons and foods that have been in my life. One that came to my mind was SPAM.  Growing up in an asian influenced household I remember that my dad loved it and my mum liked to cook with it sometimes. 

 

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Why SPAM?  Also why is SPAM so popular and how has this American product become so popular in some asian countries?

I've never understood why people eat SPAM....it's disgusting!

 

 

SPAM paintings

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I'm going to leave both of these works for now and come back to them.  I think I will start to build up the texture on both in my next painting session .

 

Nick Herd

I stumbled upon the artist Nick Herd.  I really loved the impasto style of his work which reminded me of a lot of Ben Quilty's work.  I think I will try incorporate elements of this impasto into my pop art work.

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 Starting to build up the texture, especially on the SPAM can

Starting to build up the texture, especially on the SPAM can

 The spam can painting appears to be nearly done.  I will put this aside for now and work on the other painting

The spam can painting appears to be nearly done.  I will put this aside for now and work on the other painting

 Starting to block out the other painting, not sure where the text is going at the moment.

Starting to block out the other painting, not sure where the text is going at the moment.

 Blocking the painting out even more

Blocking the painting out even more


Watched the Basquiat movie for the first time.  I think the documentary Radiant Child as a lot better.

Trip to Queensland Art Gallery

During class we ended up going to the Queensland Art Gallery.  Here Simon got us to look at works and think about and answer the the following:

 

  1. BEFORE you read the title or didactic - Note your initial thoughts and associations and anything useful in THIS work that you can apply to YOUR OWN work in the studio. This is your reflexive response.


    Consider the following questions:

  2. What concepts or themes is the artist exploring in this work? Are these adequately explored? How would you push these concepts in your own work?

  3. How is the work made? What are the material processes that that artist has used? What are some of the material possibilities for your own work?

  4. Is this artwork successfully resolved? How would you improve the final resolution or installation of this work to better capture the conceptual intent?

Walking through the gallery I decided to think about the following paintings.

  1. BEFORE you read the title or didactic - Note your initial thoughts and associations and anything useful in THIS work that you can apply to YOUR OWN work in the studio. This is your reflexive response.

    I find the use of whitespace visually appealing.  The use of crossing out words and collage. Creating a scene.  I think drawing attention to a few elements with the use of colour is key in this piece.

    Consider the following questions:

  2. What concepts or themes is the artist exploring in this work? Are these adequately explored? How would you push these concepts in your own work?

    They appear to be exploring religion, Australia, life and death.  

  3. How is the work made? What are the material processes that that artist has used? What are some of the material possibilities for your own work?

    The piece has been made using watercolour and gouache on paper.  They have incorporated collage elements and spray paint.  I like the use of mixed media and will experiment with the use of collage and spray paint in my own practice.

  4. Is this artwork successfully resolved? How would you improve the final resolution or installation of this work to better capture the conceptual intent?

    Yes it is dominated by earthy red tones with hints of green and blue.

  1. BEFORE you read the title or didactic - Note your initial thoughts and associations and anything useful in THIS work that you can apply to YOUR OWN work in the studio. This is your reflexive response.

    The work is very expressive with a minimal palette.  I especially like the contrast between the thinly brushed paint against the thicker paint behind. 

    Consider the following questions:

  2. What concepts or themes is the artist exploring in this work? Are these adequately explored? How would you push these concepts in your own work?

    Minimalism, formalism, gestural.  The use of whitespace and minimalism I could try push in my own work.

  3. How is the work made? What are the material processes that that artist has used? What are some of the material possibilities for your own work?

    Oil on canvas.  The use of high solvent could be used in my own work.

  4. Is this artwork successfully resolved? How would you improve the final resolution or installation of this work to better capture the conceptual intent?

    The work is successfully resolved.

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  1. BEFORE you read the title or didactic - Note your initial thoughts and associations and anything useful in THIS work that you can apply to YOUR OWN work in the studio. This is your reflexive response.

    I enjoy the simplicity of the work.  The colour palette and the use of real life depiction with a painting.  The gestural brush strokes contrasting with flat brush strokes is interesting and is something I could incorporate into my work.

    Consider the following questions:

  2. What concepts or themes is the artist exploring in this work? Are these adequately explored? How would you push these concepts in your own work?

    The artist appears to be exploring portraiture in this work.

  3. How is the work made? What are the material processes that that artist has used? What are some of the material possibilities for your own work?

    Paint on canvas or board?

  4. Is this artwork successfully resolved? How would you improve the final resolution or installation of this work to better capture the conceptual intent?

    Yes

 

Back into the studio to do more painting.  This time I wanted to actually paint over the portraits that I initially had done and try finish the SPAM paintings.

 I feel this work is nearly done, however I need to refine the pink blotch that I've scraped back in the middle of the piece.

I feel this work is nearly done, however I need to refine the pink blotch that I've scraped back in the middle of the piece.

 The yellow at the top is too full on so I'm going to block that out with a different colour. 

The yellow at the top is too full on so I'm going to block that out with a different colour. 

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Final resolution of the SPAM works

I feel the SPAM works are finally completed.  I'm still yet to think of a proper name for them but I really enjoy them together as a Diptych.  I feel placing them together makes the works stronger.  By using a similar colour palette and style they seem to blend together nicely.

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The start of another piece

I started another work which comments on the insanity of the internet, the media and the world we live in.  We are constantly bombarded by social media and news of shitty things going on in the world around us.  With this piece I wanted to explore concepts that I had taken from the QAG visit and the paintings I enjoyed.  A particular focus on this work will be to leave whitespace around the canvas instead of filling it up with super thick paint.

 The underlay of the work begins.

The underlay of the work begins.

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 I don't want to touch this piece any more.  I feel it is done and I have achieved what I set out to do which was to focus on using whitespace and the blank canvas.

I don't want to touch this piece any more.  I feel it is done and I have achieved what I set out to do which was to focus on using whitespace and the blank canvas.

Exhibition Review 1

FINDING GRACE - KIMBERLY ROWE
 

EXHIBITION DATES: June 14 - July 10
LOCATION:  TW FINEARTS, NEW FARM

Californian artist Kimberly Rowe is a multidisciplinary artist that works in a variety of formats from very large scale gestural abstractions to hand sewn geometric compositions.  Rowe earned her MFA with Honours from the San Francisco Art Institute and has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Australia.  Rowe’s paintings are made intuitively, improvisational and with practiced discernment.  She challenges herself to respond to harsh or unlikely colour combinations and/or difficult compositions.

Finding Grace is the latest exhibition by Kimberly Rowe showing at TWFINEART gallery in New Farm, Australia between June 14th and July 10th, 2018. Rowe latest work shows her experimenting with colour, form and textures responding to the influences from the streets of the cosmopolitan capital of Spain.

I was instantly drawn to the work Origin.  The sheer scale of the work (235 (H) x 322cm (W) was captivating and on closer inspection the work had a variety of mediums applied including charcoal, acrylic, sand, gel mediums and ink on canvas.  The work is very expressive with black bold gestural brush strokes being compositionally balanced with scratchings of charcoal.  The work has hints of blue  and yellow ink which are great contrasts to the dark gestural elements.

Strength was another work that stood out in the exhibition.  Also being quite a large piece (215 (H) x 252cm (W)), the work was quite a contrast to Origin.  It was darker and had less large gestural brush strokes, instead more small chaotic marks.  Rowe has used a shade of pink that is competing for attention with its complimentary green.  Even though the strokes are quite chaotic there seems to been a harmony between the pink, green, white and black marks on the burlap.

Overall the exhibition is quite exciting for Brisbane as you normally don’t see these types of gestural abstraction works in galleries around Brisbane.  The exhibition works well and is suited to the small intimate space of the contemporary TWFINEART gallery. 

 Kimberly Rowe,  Origin,  2018, Charcoal, acrylic, sand, gel medium, ink on canvas, 235 (H) x 322cm (W)

Kimberly Rowe, Origin, 2018, Charcoal, acrylic, sand, gel medium, ink on canvas, 235 (H) x 322cm (W)

 Kimberly Rowe,  Strength , 2018, a crylic, gel medium, crayon on burlap,  215 (H) x 252cm (W).

Kimberly Rowe, Strength, 2018, acrylic, gel medium, crayon on burlap, 215 (H) x 252cm (W).

Exhibition Review 2

CAPRICIOUS FORMS - SIMON DEGROOT
 

EXHIBITION DATES: July 4 - July 28
LOCATION:  JAN MANTON GALLERY, BRISBANE

Brisbane based artist Simon Degroot is a contemporary abstract artist who engages specific images from visual culture in order to reimagine these forms in abstract paintings.  His practice involves disassembling and reassembling to explore how abstract shapes form art history and the built environment.  In 2017 Degroot completed his postgraduate studies at the Queensland College of Art where he was awarded his PhD with an exhibition titled, Familiar Beyond Recognition: Translation in Contemporary Abstraction.  Degroot has also exhibited extensively throughout Australia.

Capricious Forms is the latest exhibition by Simon Degroot showing at Jan Manton Gallery in Brisbane, Australia between the 4th July to the 28th July, 2018.  Capricious Forms looks into translating small details from the built environment into abstract shapes onto canvas.  Details are collected, reformed and rearranged as flat abstract shapes on the canvas.

Fantasticaprice 1 was the first painting in the exhibition I was instantly drawn too.  The combination of light pastel colours overplayed with transparent black shapes I found really complimented each other.  The painting has a real sense of harmony with each shape being being precisely placed to give a sense of balance.  The overlaying of shapes draws your eyes into the work and makes you focus as you attempt to assemble the different abstracted shapes in your head.

Overlay Blue is complex painting that has been created with different layers of monochromatic blue to build up the painting.  The work has subtle hints of yellow and green which adds even more complexity to the work.  The use of transparent blues on different shapes gives the illusion of depth and in some parts even creates a deep void due to the dark deep blue created by the multiple layers.

Overall the exhibition featured many great complex works by Degroot.  The space itself was quite small and wasn’t the traditional white box gallery, instead it had more of a homely feel, however It would have been great to experience the works all in one big room.

 Simon Degroot, Fantasticaprice 1, 2018, oil on canvas, 167 x 183cm.

Simon Degroot, Fantasticaprice 1, 2018, oil on canvas, 167 x 183cm.

 Simon Degroot, Overlay Blue, 2018, oil on canvas, 138 x 123cm.

Simon Degroot, Overlay Blue, 2018, oil on canvas, 138 x 123cm.

Module 2: Post Medium

POST-MEDIUM includes practices that have extra/other concerns in
excess of the material concerns of painting, and:

  • Challenge or complicate the material properties of painting
  • incorporate other media including digital/video, etc.
  • re-insert painting into popular culture

Inspiration from the lecture

 DAVID SHRIGLEY

DAVID SHRIGLEY

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In my own words what is post medium?

Essentially what I've gathered from the Rosalind Krauss reading "Voyage on the North Sea - Art in the age of the post/medium condition" is that post medium art blurs the lines between sculture, installation and painting.  She argues against Greenberg who is known for saying that paintings should champion their flatness as they are 2D.
 

Other artists that I admire that do Post Medium work.

 Mike Okay

Mike Okay

 More of Mike Okay's work

More of Mike Okay's work

 Daisy Parris

Daisy Parris

 Daisy Parris

Daisy Parris

 Huseyin Sami

Huseyin Sami

 Huseyin Sami

Huseyin Sami

 Huseyin Sami

Huseyin Sami

 Huseyin Sami

Huseyin Sami


 

Coming up with ideas for Post Medium.

Inspired by the traditional Filipino mat called a banig.

Banig is a traditional Filipino handwoven mat normally used for sleeping or sitting on. It is not a textile. (It is not made of cloth.) . The banig is made of from dried leaves that are sometimes dyed before being cut into strips and woven into a mat. The most common type of leaves used is buri. In the Visayan region, it’s often from a reed called tikog.

 traditional banig

traditional banig

 traditional banig

traditional banig

Why the banig?

Thinking about post medium I wanted to incorporate something from my background.  I remember growing up my mum would always be making these traditional mats.  I want to experiment with weaving a painting into this traditional mat.

 Experimenting with paper creating banig

Experimenting with paper creating banig

 Started cutting up an old painting

Started cutting up an old painting

 Experimenting with creating a banig with an old painting.

Experimenting with creating a banig with an old painting.

 experimenting with different weaving pattern. This uses a more traditional diagonal weave.

experimenting with different weaving pattern. This uses a more traditional diagonal weave.

With this idea in mind, I'm pretty happy with how the painting turned out once it was weaved.  Now I started to think about more meaning behind the piece.  Since this is a very traditional Filipino mat, I wanted to look into social issues in the Philippines. 

I started to think about the extreme poverty in the Philippines, not only that I started to think about how fortunate we are in Australia and how we are so lucky to be born in a country so privileged.  I started to think about the concept of how it is by chance we are actually born into Australia, over 3 billion people actually live on less than $2.50/day.  So I wanted to experiment with a piece that represents poverty in the Philippines on one side and on the other side emphasises how fortunate we are.

I started to look at the slums in the Philippines which would be the main inspiration for one side of the canvas.

I came across the slum called Happy Land.  There is a great article on Medium that talks about this slum: https://medium.com/@edward2959/manilas-happyland-no-place-for-happiness-9246719f7146 

Here are a few key points from the article:

  • The biggest problems facing Filipinos remains poverty and homelessness in Manila’s vast slums

  • You only have to drive a few kilometres outside the thriving Manila metropolis to suburban Tondo to be struck by the sheer hopelessness facing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos.

  • a short drive outside from Manila’s city is the slum area of Tondo where more than 600,000 people live in poverty.

  • The worst of the conditions can be found at Tondo’s ‘Happyland’ BRGY105 where the population has grown from around 3500 in in 2006 to more than 12,000 today.

  • Happyland is literally built around a dump, or many dumps where people daily wade through rubbish looking for anything of value. 

  • Tons of chicken scraps are collected from takeaways garbage bins then recycled by boiling. It’s called ‘pagpag’ and sold to hungry families in the slums for a few pesos.

Pictures of Happyland

 Experimenting with different material. This is a linen and polyester blend. I've primed half of it to see how it would turn out.

Experimenting with different material. This is a linen and polyester blend. I've primed half of it to see how it would turn out.

 Cut a 3m piece of the linen polyester blend and started priming it.

Cut a 3m piece of the linen polyester blend and started priming it.

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Waiting for the canvas to dry, so I started to slice up black fabric which will represent the people of happyland.

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I had the opportunity to visit the Brett Whiteley Studio and Art Gallery of New South Wales during the semester. Here are some of the images of paintings I enjoyed down there:

Self Directed Project

Initially I wasn’t sure what to do for the self directed project. but then the whole Peter Dutton au pair saga broke out. I was pretty disappointed that this man in power got no repercussion for what he did. Essentially intervening when it suits him in visa cases. This got me thinking about the asylum seekers and refugees held in detention on Manus Island and Nauru.

Article talking about Peter Dutton au pair saga:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-06/quaedvlieg-says-duttons-office-rang-about-italian-au-pair-visa/10207402

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/03/peter-dutton-could-face-no-confidence-motion-over-au-pair-saga


After researching more into the topic, I was shocked to find that there have been 12 deaths in Australian off-shore detention centres.

Here is an excellent article covering the issue: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/ng-interactive/2018/jun/20/deaths-in-offshore-detention-the-faces-of-the-people-who-have-died-in-australias-care

 The 12 men who have died in Australian off shore detention centres

The 12 men who have died in Australian off shore detention centres

Learning about these guys deaths was quite depressing. Seeing their age when they died and how they died really hit home. So I wanted to focus my painting around these 12 men who were locked up in off shore detention and had no way of getting out.

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The initial sketch: Based on the 12 men who were locked up and were never going to leave. I wanted to focus on distress, deterioration of mental health and specific deaths like the infection of Hamid’s leg which ended up causing his death. Overall I wanted to portray a real sense of hopelessness. Around the edge I will leave blank to symbolise how these men were put in a contained area and left there to die. The use of whitespace will also cause an uneasy feeling in the viewer as it won’t be even and sharp.

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I wanted to base the palette of my painting on The Fall of the Damned by Peter Paul Rubens. This will be the first time i’ve used browns in a painting,

 The initial under layer

The initial under layer

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I found using browns very challenging. Trying to get the right consistency and a nice brown did prove difficult. I found I was mixing the colours more on the actual canvas instead of on the palette like I normally would.

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The Fall of the 12 Detainees, 2018, oil on polyester, 170cm x 240cm.

This work was in response to the whole Peter Dutton au pair saga. It is based on the 12 refugees and asylum seekers that have died while in Australian offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru. I find it absolutely appalling that Mr Dutton is happy to intervene in au pair cases but looks the other way when people are dying in Australian offshore detention centres. Reading their stories was bloody hard and it really hit home knowing what age they died and how they died. Sometimes we need to reflect and realise that we live in an extremely privileged country and that it is really the luck of the draw where we are born.

The 12 men that died while in Australian offshore detention centres:

Fariborz Karma, 26, died 15th June 2018 from suicide.

Salim Kyawning, 26, died 22nd May 2018 from suicide.

Jahingir, 29, died 2nd November 2017 from a road accident.

Rajeev Rajendran, 32, died 2nd October 2017 from a suspected suicide.

Hamed Shamshiripour, 32, died 7th August 2017 from a suspected suicide.

Faysal Ishak Ahmed, 27, died 24th December 2016 from a fall caused by a seizure.

Kamil Hussain, 34, died 2nd August 2016 from drowning.

Rakib Khan, 26, died 11th May 2016 from a suspected suicide.

Omid Masoumali, 23, died 29th April 2016 from self-immolation.

Hamid Khazaei, 24, died 5th September 2014 from sepsis.

Sayed Ibrahim Hussein, died 22nd June 2014 from drowning.

Reza Barati, 24, murdered 17th February 2014

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I also did another piece focusing on the same issue:

If Hamid was an au pair he would have been right, 2018, oil on canvas.

It’s disappointing to know that Mr Dutton was happy enough to intervene and let in a few au pairs, but when it came to treating Hamid Khazaei, Mr Morrison and Mr Dutton didn’t want to know about it. Hamid Khazaei was in an Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island in 2014 when he developed a leg infection which later caused his death due to not receiving proper medical care. It is quite sad knowing that this 24-year-old died in entirely preventable circumstances.