PCA Member Q&A: David Frazer

Lost Man, 2012, wood engraving, 11.3 x 7.5cm.
The making of David Frazer’s The Deal, 2015.
David Frazer lives in
Castlemaine, Victoria

Why do you make art? 

Good question. I couldn’t bear to get a proper job. I had the need to connect with people and communicate with them, probably because I’m insecure, neurotic and possibly a little bit mental.

What’s your relationship to printmaking?

I started off as a painter, I did well at art at school but we didn’t do any printmaking so I didn’t even consider it when I went to art school. I majored in painting and sub majored in sculpture. After giving up trying to paint, several years after art school I discovered printmaking and really took to it. I printed linocuts with a spoon on my kitchen table and also did a weekend etching course at the CAE. I loved the graphicness of it and it’s restrictions. It seemed more suited than painting to storytelling.

How did you get interested in printmaking?

After quitting art all together following art school and pursuing a career in showbiz, which was a substitute for my failure to write songs and equally as pathetic, I decided I couldn’t do anymore crappy karaoke gigs and extra work on Neighbours so I got back into art and focused on printmaking. I found that I could use narrative better with printmaking: I had a subject and doing a print in my mind was a bit like writing a song. I went back to uni at Monash and did an honours year in printmaking where I learnt heaps from my lecturers, who were also really good printmakers like Geoff Ricardo, John Neeson, Tim Jones, Dean Bowen and Ros Atkins. I never looked back.

Who is your favourite artist? 

Tom Waits

What is your favourite artwork? 

I really can’t choose just one, but I love the tail-piece vignette wood engravings of Thomas Bewick in his books A History of British Birds and A General History of Quadrupeds.

Where do you go for inspiration?

The fridge.

What are you working on now?

Just more prints for my solo shows next year. A book of engravings illustrating one of Don Walker’s (Cold Chisel) solo songs that I plan to launch in 2017, along with a series of work inspired by his music, and some in–your–face cartoon-like prints – stuff I started out doing and always wish I still did.