When time feels slippy


Time has revealed itself in new ways during the Covid-19 pandemic—and for art-makers, for whom the creative act can involve the slow burn of cogitation and process as well as the flash of illumination or inspiration, it has perhaps been particularly strange. Melbourne-based artist David Booth, also known as Ghostpatrol, explores this recent phenomenon with his new exhibition, Time Feeling Slippy.

“This body of work is a set of busy watercolours and bold colour-block paintings,” says Booth. “The works came to life during the fog of 2020, and are in part a response to conversations I had with my friend and fellow artist Sebastian Moody. We’ve been speaking about time and art and being lost in it all.

“As dramatic as it sounds, the lockdown meant I used my drawing and painting time as a giant force-field from the crushing weight of the world. Time has definitely shifted, feeling fast and slow at the same time. It really has felt a little slippy.”

While the exhibition may reflect this disorientation, Booth has also taken care to infuse his works with positivity and playfulness—things that have always been with him, going back to his beginnings as a street artist. Since then his work has been exhibited internationally, and acquired by the National Gallery of Australia and the Parliament House Art Collection.

As Booth says of this latest work, “I like the cosiness of Hugo Michell Gallery, and I’m hoping I’ve balanced the space so that it’s welcoming. The watercolour trio I’ve made is full of details that I’m hoping will make people want to spend a lot of time with them and smile a lot, while they start building their own version of these works in their mind.”

Time Feeling Slippy
David Booth
Hugo Michell Gallery
20 May—19 June

This article was originally published in the May/June 2021 issue of Art Guide Australia.

Preview Words by Barnaby Smith