Song for Ken

Roving Curator Joseph Allen Shea’s latest update…  



I wanted to include a light-based work in this Song for Ken post, as I feel that very few pigment based pieces can exude the vibrancy of colour and even more the energy of Ken Done’s palette.


Within the collection of Artbank’s neon light works I found this piece by Jon Campbell. Of course famous for his text work and concrete poetry, if you can for a moment ignore that it spells out a word, Campbell’s work shares a rapport with Done’s in its palette and radiance. 


As well as this, Campbell’s work draws on aspects of the Australian vernacular in language and urban social behaviour. While Done’s practice reflects the popularity of beach culture and celebrates the day time, in its neon electric enthusiasm Campbell’s work acknowledges the guilty pleasure few urban Australian revellers can deny: indulging in the post-midnight ritual of that ubiquitous adopted Australian food staple, the kebab.



Image: Jon Campbell, Kebabs  2006
Neon, enamel on composition board, acrylic

41 x 61 x 15.6 cm