here is a selection of my work from 2005 to the present…i am adding to this page and i am also trying to learn how to use these tools. i’ll do my best to slowly fill in the gaps.

also, please be respectful and acknowledge fully all images if you wish to use them – many thanks!

trish roan

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north-lands-installation-web

Compass (sound installation at North Lands Creative Glass, Lybster, Scotland)

2013

blown and cold worked glass, water, wood, steel, wind

This is an installation in Lybster, northern Scotland. The tubes create sound when the wind blows past a hole (embouchure) in the side of each. They are tuned with varying levels of water and angled so that groups of them make different harmonies depending on which direction the wind is coming from.

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Compass (with Aran)

Photo: David Moss

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Compass (detail)

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Bodies of Water: Buck Lake

2012

sieve, cotton

7cm x 36cm x 16cm

The presence of water in the landscape of Ontario, Canada, is overwhelming. It was particularly striking in contrast to the effects of over a decade of drought in parts of Australia. It shapes one’s sensory and emotional experience of the environment like a constant undercurrent. Shadows seem heavier. The world feels softer.

Where we lived at the Tree Museum was on the edge of a lake in the forest. We canoed across the lake to get to our work site in the morning. There were a pair of loons, a species of water bird, who lived on this lake. They would call to each other in the middle of the night and early morning. It was the most beautiful and haunting sound cutting through the darkness, like a cross between a wolf and a flute. It echoed across the surface of the water and rolled out to meet the edges of the shoreline and curl back around. When the water is still, it reflects like a mirror, and you can hear the size of the lake in the call of a bird.

The group of work, Bodies of Water, made as a follow-up to the Tree Museum residency in 2010, is a small series of reflections on the act of holding water – which is always a temporary situation – but one that can allow us to see something, or to get somewhere.

Someone said to me one time: “You don’t hold running water – you cup it in your hand, you make a momentary home for it as it passes over you. That’s all you can do.”

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Bodies of Water: North (little bear)

2012

blown glass, graphite, water

30cm x 40cm

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Bodies of Water: North (little bear) (detail)

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Bodies of Water: North (compass)

2012

drinking glass, magnetised needles, water

dimensions variable

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Bodies of Water: North (compass) (detail)

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Even the most solid of things (Constellation 3)

2012

acorns, mirror, wood

160cm x 275cm x 60cm

Photo: Rob Little

A sentence in Braille is written on the wall in reflected light from mirrors set into acorn caps.

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Even the most solid of things (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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Even the most solid of things (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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A Collection

2006 – ongoing

soap slivers, erasers, stones

dimensions variable

Photo: Rob Little

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A Collection (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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A Collection (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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A Collection (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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800,000,000 heartbeats (for M Zirpel) – part 1

2012

letterpress type, copper etching, copper, brass, wood, mirror, borosilicate glass, rubber, bearings

Photo: Rob Little

This piece is dedicated to Mark Zirpel, who is a great artist. I met Mark in 2006. He was talking about some work that he had made which was about the body as a kind of clock. He said something that stuck with me: all mammals have, on average, 800,000,000 heartbeats over the course of their lifetime. A mouse has a very fast heartbeat and a short lifespan, while a blue whale’s heart beats around 6 times a minute. Perhaps my attraction to this is more poetic than factual, but I like the idea that we all inhabit the same spectrum and are only defined by scale.

The shape of the copperplate is the motion of a whale swimming, and it animates a silhouette of a whale scratched on the side of a row of letterpress type. The letters spell out the phrase in the mirror a few letters at a time as the whale swims.

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800,000,000 heartbeats (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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800,000,000 heartbeats (detail)

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800,000,000 heartbeats (for M Zirpel) – part 2

2016

wood, brass, copper, steel, rubber, bearings, mica, kraft paper, found objects, vinyl record

55cm x 45cm x 35cm

Photo by Rob Little

This hand-operated, mechanical gramophone is a further exploration of scale and commonality, taking as a starting point the voices of animals the sit beyond the range of human hearing at both ends of the spectrum. For us to perceive these sounds it is necessary to alter the speed to bring them into our sensory reality, and within these limits a host of different voices can heard to inhabit the same song – depending on how fast or slow the handle is turned. The vinyl recording is composed of the slowed-down calls of various bat species, which are imperceptible to humans in real time. When slowed down a thousand times, the calls of these bats are evocative of whale song.

(The original field recordings of various bat species were recorded by Guido Pfalzer, Kjell Isaksen, Raimund Specht and Tore Christian Michaelsen. Additional thanks to Dani Linton (Wytham Bat Project). Vinyl mastering by Adam Dempsey and record cutting by Nathan Sawford)

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800,000,000 heartbeats

Photo: Rob Little

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Trish Roan artist - gramophone 2016

800,000,000 heartbeats (details)

Photos: Rob Little

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Hum

2012

blown glass, light bulb, brass, copper, fimo, paper, watercolour pigment, glitter, thistledown

24cm x 16cm x 11cm

Photo: Rob Little

The handle turns a paper thaumatrope (simple animation device) of a hummingbird flapping its wings. The breeze generated from this movement causes the thistledown in the upper chamber to float.

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Hum (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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Hum (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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Soft stones

2012

cast crystal, blown glass, brass, wood, rubber, bearings, ceramic handle

25cm x 45cm x 38cm

Photo: Rob Little

The black heart/gramophone-object is cast from crystal glass. The lead content in crystal glass gives it a particularly resonant quality, such as when you strike or rub water across the rim of wine glasses which are made of it. When the handle in the piece above is turned, the bowl and base plate of ground glass spins whilst the heart remains stationary, causing them to grind each other down. The abrasion creates a ringing sound through the forms of the ‘gramophone’ horns.

The sound is bound up in the materiality of the object, and requires its turning into dust in order to be released. I’m interested in the fact that there is an element of sacrifice, and that there are hours that go into making the cast piece – it’s not easy, or at least logical, to go ahead and destroy it. I like that. I like it when the rewards of letting something go are worth more than the desire to hold onto it, but not without difficulty.

It would be good for this to turn into dust, eventually. It would be a huge relief.

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Soft stones (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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Soft stones (detail)

Photo: Rob Little

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Trish Roan Art ANCA Gallery 6 2012

Tumbler (dandelion seed drawing machine)

2012

wood, glass, cotton, wax, candle soot, dandelion seeds

Photo: Rob Little

The wheel on the right is a glass container holding several dandelion seeds, which gently scratch away at a layer of candle soot coating the inner surface of the glass at the back. Over the duration of the exhibition, visitors to the gallery contributed to a collective drawing which was an accumulation of the traces of everyone who passed through and interacted with the piece.

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Edible weeds of Greater Melbourne (detail)

2011

various plants, coffee cups

Photo: Liang Luscombe

This was collected for the Zero Dollar Show initiated by Liang Luscombe. Various edible weeds were sourced from streets and neighbourhoods in Melbourne, as well as discarded coffee cups, which were used to contain and grow them. I found that just the act of identifying and acknowledging these weeds and their potential uses was enough to transform my environment and my experience of walking. It’s an exercise in knowledge and value, but with practical applications too.

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Edible weeds of Greater Melbourne (detail)

Photo: Liang Luscombe

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Edible weeds of Greater Melbourne (detail)

Photo: Liang Luscombe

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Meridian (installation at The Tree Museum, Ontario, Canada)

2010

mirrors, wood, metal, sunlight

dimensions variable

Several mirrors mounted onto the trees reflect sunlight onto the rock face ahead. At a particular point in the day the pieces of reflected light all intersect within the sheltered space of rock between two young oak trees, forming a full circle.

The image occurs each day at solar noon, the moment at which the sun is directly over the local meridian – in other words, the moment when the place on which we stand turns to face the sun. In this way it acts as a sundial, or perhaps more accurately a noon-mark. I think of this point in time as a threshold, a transition moment between approaching and turning away. The marker of the noon is the wholeness of the circle, which breaks up as the sun moves on.

This piece was part of a residency and exhibition with Bev Hogg, Penelope Stewart and Jeannie Thib, at The Tree Museum in Ontario, Canada. You can see everyone’s work here, as well as the exhibition catalogue which includes wonderful essays by Maralynn Cherry and Earl Miller.

I’ve also written a bit more about the ideas and process in this post.

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untitled (detail of installation in Kingston powerhouse, Canberra)

2010

blown glass, water, mirrors,  steel

dimensions variable

An image from a project in which I tried to pierce more windows into the thick concrete walls of a former power station. Spherical glass vessels filled with water were suspended from metal structures (the old coal hoppers) overhead, and acted as lenses that projected images of the existing windows onto the walls.

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Falling

2010

blown glass, water, glass beads, rayon thread, superglue

40cm x 19cm x 19cm

Photo: Rob Little.

The image is made from a series of beads suspended in space. Like constellations, the pattern they make is entirely dependent on the perspective of the viewer, and is only seen from one angle. As the viewer moves around the piece, the image emerges for a second before dispersing into scattered drops. Each bead of the image is suspended from another dot drawing drilled into the top of the glass dome (see detail).

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Falling (detail)

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Wayfinding

2010

scientific glass, water, glass beads, rayon thread, superglue

34cm x 17cm x 17cm

Photo: Rob Little

A drawing of a boat is suspended from a map of the night sky during October. The piece is about an internal ocean, and it is about navigating without landmarks.

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Wayfinding (detail)

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Star map

2009

crackers, sunlight

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One drop at a time (all I got)

2008

glass, water, graphite, balloon, pigment

29cm x 10cm x 10cm

Photo: Stuart Hay

The lightbulb object on the bottle is an inverted open vessel containing water, which drips very slowly into the balloon. The filament is engraved on the back of the lightbulb, and the water acts as a magnifier in order to read the words that it forms. The piece is about volumes, and capacities – the potential for things to expand or contract, and the conditions that allow for this.

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One drop at a time (detail)

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What you sow

2008

broken light bulb, thread

9cm x 5cm x 5cm

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Instrument

2008

modified scientific glass, rubber

33cm x 5cm x 5cm

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Horn

2008

blown glass, found object, feathers

27cm x 8cm x 8cm

Photo: Stuart Hay

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Constellation

2007

found pens, paper, blown glass

18cm x 86cm x 43cm

Photo: Stuart Hay

This is a collection of pens which were about to be thrown out, no longer able to write properly. They were stood up in bottles containing a circle of blotting paper, allowing what each pen contained to bleed out and reveal its internal volume. The different sized ink blots correspond to the magnitude of stars within the constellation of Scorpio.

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Constellation 2 (the space we fill)

2007

ink on paper

43cm x 84cm

The second part of the Constellation piece – a different method of measuring internal volume within a pen. This is the outward projection of that volume. The two pieces are about capacity within people, the kind of light that they bring to the world and to each other. The darker areas where the lines intersect more make the stars appear brighter.

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Exchange

2007

blown glass, water, dry watercolour pigment, cotton

12cm x 22cm x 7cm

Through capillary action, water travels one drop at a time up a thread of cotton from one jug to the other, falling onto a dry block of pigment and reconstituting it into paint. Once this fills up to a certain level, it moves back the other way, colouring the water in the first jug. They make each other possible.

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Moving through water

2006

blown, cast and lampworked glass, water, dirt, thread

24cm x 14cm x 14cm

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A collection

2006

soap, erasers, wood

24cm x 24cm x 4cm each

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Pearl

2006

cast glass, found object

dimensions variable

(approx 4cm x 7cm x 23cm)

Photo: Stuart Hay

A found object was dipped in layers of wax until it formed a uniform ellipse. The layers were cast individually in glass, using the lost-wax technique. I was thinking about passages of time, the rounded edges of memory, and how pearls are made.

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Pearl

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Pearl (detail)

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The eye of a fish; the volume of a room

2006

blown glass, water, alcohol, oil

14cm x 12cm x 12cm

A drop of oil is suspended in a vessel containing a solution of water and alcohol. The water and alcohol has been mixed to be the same density as that of the oil, allowing the oil to form a perfect sphere. The piece is a series of lenses nested within each other – glass, water and oil. The drop of oil reflects the surrounding room and objects within it. I am interested in the idea of the smallest thing containing something much larger than itself.

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The eye of a fish; the volume of a room (detail)

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Compass

2006

various containers, water, magnetised needles

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2 things

2005

seed pod, found comb

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3 Responses to “Images of work”


  1. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it,
    you could be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your
    blog and definitely will come back down the road.
    I want to encourage continue your great writing, have a nice day!

  2. Melvin Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your magnificent work and hope you’ll get to exhibit those fantastic art pieces to the public. Do not forget to let me know once it is up for exhibit.


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