Spectolumen is a collaborative art project between artist Andrew "Grassi" Kelaher and photographer/editor Ron Molnar.
It combines elements of pop art, surrealism, urban art, photography, installation, and digital media into a multidiscipline artwork. The process ties together ideas that are considered traditional with more current contemporary practices.
As Andrew explains, "I was looking for a creative outlet to use some of the idea's I was having inspired by various things from around the world. I had an interest in several areas of painting including pop, surrealism, and abstraction. At the same time I was quite inspired by elements of installation and street art. Taking objects and putting them out of context out in the environment away from where they're traditionally displayed. It was another surreal aspect. You look at the object differently because it's been somewhere unusual. However I couldn't make it work. When I saw Ron's photography I realised we looked at things in a similar way. This presented an opportunity. We could combine our fields and add even more aspects to the creative process. We could include photography and digital media and that's when it all started to come together."
Ron, "I've had a lot of success with my photography over the last 10 years or so, but I'm always keen to try something new or different. When Grassi (Andrew) told me about his concept I could see the potential immediately and was excited by it. I enjoy creating images which border on abstraction, it really appeals to me. With this project I could take that interest, mix up the composition, and add even more unusual aspects to my photography. It's been a long gestation, but I think we've produced something quite different that I hope will make people really look and think"
Over several years the artists experimented and collaborated until all the pieces fell into place and they had created something unique, and above all interesting.
Andrew, "There is something exciting about taking a painted image on canvas and putting that in an incredible or unusual place then watching as the interest shifts by mixing the image into a photographic artwork. Then having the whole installation, photographic process, removal and finished work filmed and edited into a digital video component which also becomes part of the overall piece. It's hard to explain, but it captures your attention."
The collaborative title, Spectolumen, came from the Latin Specto - See, and Lumen - light. The artists deciding they wanted an unusual name to go with the work.
Andrew "Grassi" Kelaher
Andrew began exhibiting paintings in art prizes as a child. He started showing with commercial galleries in his early twenties with paintings based on the Australian landscape. This quickly turned into a full time career with solo shows across Australia. He did not attend art school but opted instead to teach himself. He further increased his artistic range by designing and building championship winning sailing boats and occasionally building large sculptures using snow and food dye.
His works are in collections, both private and corporate, across Australia and around the world.