On the Couch with Sean Rafferty

Sean Rafferty Arts Review On the CouchWho is Sean Rafferty?
Irish-born Australian from Port Macquarie, now living in Sydney. Husband, father of twin toddlers, art maker, registrar.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I should probably eat more green vegetables.

Who inspires you and why?
Robert Macpherson. There is so much there without there being much there. I’m also inspired by my lovely wife, Claire, who gets three things done in the time it takes me to do one.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
What I’m doing now but better; one of my ongoing projects is to collect and map Australian fruit cartons. I would gather more stories from the people behind each of the fruit cartons I collect and find a way of getting them heard. I think there is goodness in the telling and in the hearing of personal stories.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Sicily – It is simple, beautiful, bucolic, ancient and the food is generous and delicious.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Shark Beach at Nielsen Park in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. It is a beach in the harbour my family swims at every other weekend in summer. Amazed every time I’m there.

What are you currently reading?
The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. Reading it I think I am drawn to literature and film about Australia, created by outsiders. Walkabout and Wake in Fright are two of my favourite films. They address things here with a less biased or inhibited vision.

What are you currently listening to?
Lots of podcasts. I’m borderline obsessed with political and film podcasts. Music-wise I’ve been listening to an amazingly eclectic, curated mix tape given to me by Robert Lake.

Happiness is?
Having a sunset aperitif with my wife and folks on Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie while the kids tumble around entertaining us.

What does the future hold for you?
I have a project in Far North Queensland, and I have a few self-directed projects that I am hoping to realise. And lots of collection cataloguing…

Sean Rafferty is an artist and registrar living in Sydney. He uses a range of mediums and methodologies to make work that has roots in the genre of landscape, as it is represented in painting, film, literature and storytelling. He employs the processes of collecting and mapping to examine locations and their expression through various mediums as landscapes.

Rafferty’s projects are characterised by an earnest, yet invariably futile, search for mystic truths in the relationships of his collected materials. Current and past projects include: CartonographyRiver ~ Prairie ~ SunriseRockinghamFugitive Dreams (Road Pictures); Photo-Synthesis; The Arcadia Project; The Oyster Delusion; Ghost Mountain; and Brick Veneer [XL].

Sean’s work can be seen in the Museum of Brisbane exhibition, Tastes like Sunshine – currently on display until 12 November 2017. For more information, visit: www.museumofbrisbane.com.au for details.

Image: Sean Rafferty – courtesy of Museum of Brisbane