Trish Neil

Living and working on the Central Coast, NSW.

Category: photography

Easter Scribble (for the last time I promise!)


I can’t leave this alone, it seems. Does this help? A foolish looking creature, a little crazed, definitely suffering; but then the series is called “Fools and Innocents”, so it fits. I will make a new page of the series as soon as I find the time, and they may (hopefully) make sense as a group.

Scribble #3

Proposal: that there are evanescent personae/archetypes which appear fleetingly in unexpected places, such as the in the curious markings of certain insects in particular species of tree, or in the twisted forms of tree trunks, or in half-caught glimpses and dream states. If you are careful, observant, introspective, you may, on a good day, catch these characters as they manifest.


Rock Platform with bonsai like trees


Rock Platform 1

I was wandering through the bush near where I live, looking at some aboriginal rock carvings, and came across these wonderful rock platforms. I lay down on the rock to take the first picture; the tea trees growing here are so stunted they are natural bonsais. The whole scene conveys that a lovely air of unreality that you get on your own in the bush. Well, not quite unreality, more being totally removed from everyday reality, of being in deep time rather than shallow, rushed time.

The recent rain brings the rocks alive with colour; these little runnels of water make the most beautiful abstract shapes.


Easter scribble modified.

I am wondering if other people see what I see in these scribbly bark images. It’s a matter of perception, of figure/ground differentiation; what seems figurative to me is perhaps an abstract and meaningless mess of lines to many others.
Maybe I can make it clearer like this:
This is the image:


And this is the image again. I have darkened all the ‘background’ areas, and emphasized the left ‘eye’.


Does that make it clearer? Can you see the connection with Easter? It is a peculiarity of perception that once your brain has ‘seen’ something which makes sense to it in an otherwise random pattern, especially a face, you keep seeing only that face and it looks really obvious to you – but not necessarily to anyone else. I would love some feedback on this.

Easter Scribble

Funny the things you see in a tree.

Enjoying the work of Joan Fontcuberta

 I am fascinated with the work of Joan Fontcuberta. He constantly questions our acceptance of the photograph because of its appearance of reality – yes I know everyone is aware of fakes, of  photoshopped models, etc etc, but we still tend to give  credence to photographic evidence despite that. That is to me the interesting thing about digital  post production work, that you can, as it were, paint with reality (or the appearance of it). Like this lovely creature from his Fauna series …..

His work is so alive with humour; he says, “I believe in the artist transmitting joy.” Not so much of the suffering artist here!  If you don’t know his work, I recommend the adventure. His more recent work on ‘Landscapes without memory’ is also quite beguiling. These links are just the top of the Google list, but a start.

Scribble # 2

This was one of the first of this style that I did, and is why I chose the name Fools and Innocents – he just looks like an innocent, a fool, or a clown.


Scribble for today

Scribbly bark  scribbles are the ultimate Rorschach Test of the bush! (For those unfortunates without ready access to the Australian bush, there are tiny insects which burrow under the bark of the Scribbly Gum eucalypts and leave these wonderful patterns. Each year the tree sheds most of its outer bark and reveals a new set of scribbles. Infinite variety!)  With a little help from photoshop to emphasise what I see and produce something which looks rather like an etching, here is the first of a selection of Scribbles.


So it’s not just me …

“The sandstone is the bone and root of the coast. On top of the cliff, the soil is thin and the scrub sparse. there are banksia bushes, with their sawtooth-edged leaves and dried seed cones like multiple, jabbering mouths. Against this austere grey-green, the occasional red or blue scribble of a flower looks startling. But further back to the west, the sandstone ledges slip down into the harbor, separating it into scores of inlets. In 1788 these sheltered coves were densely wooded. The largest trees were eucalypts: red gums, angophoras, scribbly gums and a dozen others. Until the late eighteenth century no European had ever seen a eucalypt, and very strange they must have looked, with their strings of hanging, half-shed bark, their smooth wrinkling joints (like armpits, elbows or crotches), their fluent gesticulations and haze of perennial foliage.”  Robert Hughes, in ‘The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding.


Or, to put it another way ………. “Someone should put underpants on those trees…” John Turier, sculptor.  (


Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg 1772-1801) provided this definition of Romanticism: “By giving the commonplace a high meaning, the ordinary a mysterious aspect, the known the dignity of the unknown, the finite an aura of infinity, I romanticise it.”

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