MATRIX two(o)rigin
Duo Solo Exhibition at SUDAKARA ArtSpace

'Trees that speak project'

residency at:
BatuBelah Art Space (BBAS)


  paul trinidad  

Skull in profile, ballot stamp





"... though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...."
Isaiah 1:18

Judgement and the vulnerable male are recurring themes in Paul Trinidad’s life and work.

He grew up in the Western Australian Goldfields towns of Kalgoorlie and Leonora. These communities began as temporary settlements for men who dug and scraped for gold. As deep mines replaced mine shafts dug by hand, male mine workers still vastly outnumbered women. The preponderance of single men in the Goldfields saw the state’s first Premier, John Forrest, reluctantly give women the vote rather than have his conservative government overturned by working men.

In his youth Trinidad spent several years in the wilderness, but not in harmony with nature. With his father and brother he worked a three-man gold mine at Lake Darlot. Together they pitted their minds and muscles against the hostile desert. They were pursuing a universal measure of men’s worth, extracted by toil and fire - gold.
In an earlier body of work, Trinidad explored the story of two convicted Goldfields murderers. In 1926 they committed a series of crimes beginning with gold-stealing and ending in the murder of Detectives Pitman and Walsh. After a botched cremation attempt they threw the bodies down an abandoned mine shaft.

“The gruesome remains were charred and there is no question but that the fiendish murderers had endeavoured to burn the victims of their ruthless slaughter,” says a contemporary newspaper account. “Failing in this mission the human pieces were wrapped in old bags and deposited in the shaft where they were discovered about a fortnight later.”

Trinidad was struck by similar scenes, painted this time at Klungkung’s Kertha Gosa. 
“It was the scenes of decapitation and brutal dismemberment, violence, death that captured my imagination and enabled me to draw a parallel (with the Pitman and Walsh murders),” Trinidad says. “They mutilated the bodies, decapitated, removed head and limbs, tried to burn the bodies.”

Bali’s Hindu rulers held their Supreme Court in this small open-sided shed, its ceiling covered with small paintings. The judges were Brahmin priests. After judgement, either the plaintiff or defendant was required to take ‘the oath of truth’, binding them and their families to harsh Karmic penalties for lying. Waiting to give evidence, a possible perjurer could not help but look up and study tier upon tier of hideous scenes, like the most diabolic tortures of a Breugel or a Bosche painting, but laid out neatly and labelled like a catalogue of consequences.

During a residence at the University of Western Australia and the Ancient Rock Studio, Klungkung-born artist Pak Wayan Sujana (Suklu) encouraged Trindad to produce a series of yet-to-be exhibited etchings, each depicting a vulnerable masculine symbol seated on a chair. The prisoner in the dock.
His latest body of work continues the theme of judgement as a response to last month’s election campaign.

Bali’s Governor I Made Mangku Pastika was police chief at the time of the Bali bombing. The subsequent police operation he led saw the culprits swiftly arrested and subject to the judgement of Indonesia’s courts. In his later role as Governor he is obliged to submit himself to judgement by the people to maintain office.
Under the voting system, electors were required to place either a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ on their ballot paper, indicating support for the first or the second of two candidates. In his Ballot series of 300 small paintings, Trinidad has replaced these numerals with two skulls in profile and face-on, perhaps reminiscent of the two facial views in police mug shots.

The Indonesian flag’s red and white colours predominate. To the Western mind, white is the symbol of purity and innocence. The word ‘candidate’ comes from Roman usage, where those seeking public office had to wear a white robe or toga candida as an emblem of their suitability. The colour red continues Trindidad’s male violence theme. It symbolises for him the violent overthrow of the Dutch and the later Communist purge, measures taken to achieve and maintain the modern Indonesian state.

Geoff Vivian

A detailed account of the former Bali supreme court and its workings at Kertha Gosa can be found in Covarrubias, M (1946) Island of Bali. New York: Alfred A Knopf pp66-69.

“Close election in Bali erupts in violence” is The Jakarta Post front page headline for 17 May 2013 “Overall, the Bali Police deployed 7,500 personnel during election day,” the article says. See http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/05/17/close-election-bali-erupts-violence.html


EXHIBITION: "MATRIX two(origin)"
27th June 2013

Curated by: I Wayan Yoga Parta






Simon Winchester




'Trees that speak project'
BatuBelah Art Space (BBAS)


Three Principles of Art:

In 1997, I began a project for a performative exhibition entitled Serious Ink Men. The event took place at the Fremantle Arts Centre. My works were solely portraits, one thousand etched, engraved, scratched scarified, blackened, tarred, graphic portraits which were etched out of card, steel plates, wood blocks and copper sheets. The engraved plates were then printed at the Fremantle Arts Centre over a month long period. From beginning to end it was a performative work in progress.

Sixteen years later, I am working in Suklu’s studio, this time the mission is to produce one thousand drawn and painted portraits. This time, the materials are paper and crayon, paint and three-ply board, there are some graphic processes such as stemple and carbon transfer in reference to my print-media background.

The concept of my drawn and painted work is simple. I am interested in the circumstances by which men are judged. I am unashamedly interested in masculine culture, the actions of men and the way in which men philosophise, men’s business. 
In my previous earlier works the theme has been criminal judgement, other times it has been judgement in the domestic setting.   This time the theme of my work is the elections for Governor of Bali.

It is not complicated, the candidates are, inexorably judged, one vote at a time by the constituents of their electorate. I am interested in Balinese men, and their process of passing judgement. 

This time, sixteen years on from the Ink Men project an installation of etching press and affairs have been replaced by trees, sculptured trees, a concept originating from the desert country of Leonora, my spiritual kampong.   Here, over a two year period I developed the concept for a prestressed steel structure which became the Leonora Tree monument.  The Leonora Tree speaks to the spirits of the old people dwelling at the cemetery. It is a spiritual matrix connecting land to the heavens, corporeal life with spiritual life.

The trees I have developed in Klunkung owe their origins to the spirit place of Leonora, they speak from artist to artist, the trees of BBAS speak the voice and the of Klungkung.

The third component of my exhibition is spiritual, Suklu is a spiritual man.  His spirituality is embedded in his Hindu beliefs and heritage that he loves very deeply.  I noticed after meeting Suklu though, there are many parallels in our work and philosophy, Suklu encouraged my explorations.
I never considered myself to be a deeply spiritual man in the same vein as Suklu. 

My inspiring stories owe thier origins directly to facts, real events, and some folk lore.
In a previous life I was a gold prospector and I lived in the wilderness of Western Australia's desert country.  I believe I carry the spirti of that country with me wherever I am.  My true spiritually is in that land, most likely embedded in band of mineralized quartz reef within the Eastern Goldfields. 
You can find a manifestation of it in the prestressed steel monument at the Leonora Cemetery.

Paul Trinidad

Jume 2013

paul trinidad





origins, cross-cultural connections


Paul Trinidad grew up in the West Australian goldfields. In this harsh, unforgiving desert country where little grows and water is scarce he worked with his father and brother prospecting for gold, a hard life with little time or resources for cultural activity, and which left behind scarred earth and disused mine shafts.  Wayan Sujana Suklu grew up near Klungkung in East Bali where he still lives today. From a family of farmers his early experience was of fertile land and sculpted rice terraces. Culture and a deep belief in Balinese Hindu religion were and remain central to his life, and the aesthetic aspects of ritual life have surely had a lasting influence on his career as an artist.

In spite of such different backgrounds these two artists have a surprising amount in common. While Trinidad might say that he is not a spiritual person but rather someone concerned with the world you can see or touch, he is undoubtedly a deep thinker and like anyone who spends a long time in Bali has been touched by that island's unseen world. Although the stories from the Australian outback that inform some of Trinidad's work are very different to the great Hindu epics that Suklu grew up with, themes such as judgement and punishment are common to both. This explains Trinidad's fascination with the Kertha Gosa, the historic House of Justice in Suklu's town of Klungkung where classic paintings from the neighbouring village of Kamasan depict the horrific punishments that await wrongdoers in the afterlife. Through different prisms he and Suklu maybe see a similar world and explore similar issues, and while their work is quite different there are certainly aspects in their approach to making art that they have in common. 

They are both rigorous in their approach to making art and both are concerned with process and material, and for both artists repetition of mark and motif plays an important role. It is always a mistake to ask artists what their work "means" as art is not a mere puzzle to be solved, or a language to be translated into words (if it were, once solved or translated the art itself would become redundant). But this does not mean that real events might not be referenced. Trinidad was in residency in Bali during the recent  elections for governor and that event influenced his series of 300 small works. The same image is repeated but being handmade each has a degree of individuality. In the same way  individuals come together in the form of society and as with a body of art work, the whole and the constituent parts are inseperable and both have significance.

Suklu and Trinidad are not only committed to their own art practice but also to teaching and this is how they met. Trinidad is an Assistant Professor at ALVA, the University of Western Australia where in addition to his teaching he has worked for many years towards establishing the close relationship that now exists between UWA and ISI Denpasar.  Suklu teaches at ISI and met Trinidad at a drawing workshop when he brought a group of WA students to Bali. Through art and talk they discovered much common ground and this exhibition is the culmination of over two years of correspondences and working together.  Suklu also has his own art centre near Klungkung, BatuBelah Art Space, which is a venue for performance and workshops for students of all ages. Through their teaching they both contribute not only to instruction in the techniques of making art but also to promoting multicultural relationships.

These two artists come from worlds that could hardly be more different, yet they are worlds that today have become increasingly close, and the relationship between Suklu and Trinidad is part of a complex network of connections that bridge cultures and bind our two countries together.


Chris Hill

Jume 2013

Chris Hill is an independent curator currently working with Dr Ric Spencer on Bali: Return Economy, a three month exhibition program to be held at the Fremantle Arts Centre in Feb 2014. Chris has been a collector of Balinese Art for more than 30 years and has been an avid advocate for cultural exchange with Bali in that time, his book Survival and change: three generations of Balinese painters was published in 2007.

























Sudamala Suites & Villas
Jl. Sudamala no. 20
Sanur, Bali 80227









BatuBelah Art Space (BBAS)
Jalan Raya Prof. Ida Bagus Mantra,
Klungkung, Bali

AMIGO Art Management: Desak Dharmayanti
Pak Suklu, Family and staff.
Sudakara Art Space
Pak Army
University of Western Australia

Paul Trinidad
Asok Nagara
Kadek Adi
I Made Sumatra

Assistance with production in BatuBelah:
I Made Sumatra

Assistance with design production and development Trees Dari Klungkung:
Kadek Adi

Research Assistant:
Yeni Tonglolangi




















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