Referencing Piranesi, 2012

Brown, G. James (2012) Referencing Piranesi, 2012. [Creative Work]

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"Referencing Piranesi" by G. James Brown was executed as a contemporary response to the long tradition of drawing architectural follies. The two-panel drawing addresses the crumbled architectural fantasies of artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) from the standpoint of a contemporary North Queensland artist's perception of a constructed model broadly based on Piranesi's "Carceri" prison scenes. By design, the drawing critiques the conventions of architectural rendering by comparing past practices to the artist's personal art practice.

Research Statement

Research Background This drawing is an extension of my ongoing interest in examining relationships between current approaches in the Creative Arts (with a focus on North Queensland art practices) and historical precedents (with a focus on early European and English printmakers). I am fascinated how the motivations (e.g. choice of topic, subject and disposition of subject material) and technical processes (e.g. rendering styles, medium and format) are driven by culture, social issues and location (amongst others) and how these forces play significant roles in the creative process. The juxtaposition of my artworks with the prints by early artists highlights this concern with finding congruence and points of separation of artistic approach.
Research Contribution This drawing contributes to current research by helping to define some key attributes of current art practice in North Queensland. By intention, the drawing clarifies some of the differences separating the practice of a North Queensland artist from those of early European and English printmakers, particularly the architectural prints of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778).
Research Significance This drawing (along with my related drawings of architectural features) is most likely the first to employ the medium of carbonised lemon juice to draw pictorial and conceptual connections between the working practices of a contemporary North Queensland artist and pictorial evidence perceived in the architectural prints of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778).
Item ID: 24010
Item Type: Creative Work
Media of Output: Lemon juice and ink on watercolour paper, 76 x 114 cm
Keywords: drawing, Piranesi, architectural rendering, interpretation, lemon juice
Additional Information:

This work was exhibited in "From Model to Image" a solo exhibition by James Brown, 4-6 May 2012, eMerge Gallery, SoCA, James Cook University, Townsville. View the exhibition record at

Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2012 04:49
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190502 Fine Arts (incl Sculpture and Painting) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 100%
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