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troublemag | July 7, 2022

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Greg Creek: The Desktop Drawings

Greg Creek: The Desktop Drawings Greg Creek, 'Clifton Hill Ghosts Section'. Greg Creek, 'Darebin Creek Section'.


Created on modest scaled desks and yet sometimes beguiling by their incredible length, Greg Creek’s drawings focus upon the richness of a studio process that captures the interaction between the incidentals of everyday events and universal contexts.

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) will present both new and major existing works by this highly regarded Melbourne-based artist in its leading winter exhibition The Desktop Drawings from 30 May to 9 August. The catalyst for this exhibition was SAM’s acquisition of The Melbourne Desktop Drawing in 2014. The piece was originally commissioned by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in 2003.

Shepparton Art Museum Director Kirsten Paisley said: ‘Securing The Melbourne Desktop Drawing for SAM has been very exciting due to the scale and importance of this extraordinary work. Beginning as the throw away blotting sheets for Creek’s large allegorical oil paintings, the desktop works have since become a focus of his practice, significant in their own right. The exhibition will also present ChatterShapes, a 52 metre wall-based work previously shown only in Scotland, and a body of approximately forty new drawings Greg is making specifically for SAM’s show, that explore love, death and politics.


Greg Creek, 'Grotesque Economies'.

Greg Creek, ‘Grotesque Economies’.

Greg Creek, 'Darebin Creek Section'.

Greg Creek, ‘Darebin Creek Section’.


Which member of your family influenced you the most?
Greg Creek: My partner – because we’ve grown up talking art.

How similar are your political beliefs to those of your family?
GC: Pretty similar with a ‘Paul Keating was the greatest’ type of vibe.

How do your values differ from those of your family?
GC: I tried to make more mistakes than have a good job.

Do you have a favourite family story?
GC: My grandfather once ferried Lawrence of Arabia across the Dead Sea. Our dog climbs up on our roof on the ladder.

What do you hope for?
GC: I hope Geelong wins another GF.

What do you think is your main purpose in life?
GC: To make meaning creative.

Do you think its ok to lie?
GC: Of course – to lessen a worse lie.

What does freedom mean to you?
GC: 10.30am – nothing I have to do …

Do you think things happen for a reason?
GC: Yes, when I think I’m in control and no, when I realise I’m not.

What beliefs do you have that you think will never change?
GC: I believe that beliefs can change.

Do you believe in the supernatural?
GC: No – but I think that some parts of artworks dream other parts of artworks.

Is any religious text important to you?
GC: Cave art.

Have you ever come close to dying?
GC: Yep – I was run over by a bus when I was young, and I did ask myself if I would die.

Who is the best teacher you have ever had?
GC: A midwife who said artists were often perfectionists but that our baby only needed us to be good enough.

Have you ever been lost?
GC: In dreams often – during my first week at Uni in Melbourne.

What was your favourite book as a child?
GC: The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham.

If I asked a good friend of yours what you were good at, what would they say?
GC: Asking questions.

What stays the same in your life, no matter how much other things change?
GC: Having bad eyesight.

What is stopping you?
GC: Fear and closed eyes.


Greg Creek, 'Punt Road Hill Section'.

Greg Creek, ‘Punt Road Hill Section’.


Greg Creek: The Desktop Drawings brings together a selection from Creek’s extraordinary drawing practice now spanning 20 years – ranging from Melbourne via Europe to Shepparton with a highlight the growing body of new drawings commissioned specifically by SAM for The Drawing Wall #19, showing until 30 August 2015 –


Greg Creek, 'Clifton Hill Ghosts Section'.

Greg Creek, ‘Clifton Hill Ghosts Section’.