Christophe Domergue was born on Kur-in-gai Country in Sydney, and currently works on Gadigal and Wangal Country from his studio in Marrickville. In 2023 he was a finalist in the prestigious Dobell Drawing Prize, with his resin and fibreglass piece and also highly commended in the Milburn Art Prize for Landscape, Brisbane institute of Art.
At the heart of Domergue's artistic practice lies his innovative technique, aptly named "Peeling." This method employs thick, malleable pigments in resin, serving both as painting medium and adhesive. Through this process, he physically peels away surface layers of urban landscapes, resulting in almost a sculptural object. Domergue's work transcends the conventional, inviting viewers into a world of texture, colour, and form.
His first series was titled, Post Industrial Peelings (2017) and his most recent series, Dust Room (2023) were created on the floor of the shared dust room at his Marrickville studio.
Pick. Prep. Push. Pull. Peel.
I use thick wet malleable resins and pigments, fibreglass, and substrata as sculpting materials to generate 2D impressions of 3D spaces that harbour rich industrial histories deep within their core. I call these impressions, peelings.
The process of making and playing with chemicals, their industrial strength aromas is what I thrive on. It is a violent and performative process that enables bursts of energy and speed in the layering of materials through cutting, laying, mixing, splashing, pushing, pulling, peeling, and refining. It is sensorial – manifesting in both material and immaterial encounters.
As a child of the 80s and 90s I would play in vacant and forbidden industrial sites on the weekends, so I was naturally drawn to the excessive, pleasurable, and hedonistic subculture of Sydney’s early 90’s warehouse rave scene. It was during this time that I found my people, perhaps myself and the affinity remains. The secrets, memories, and untold stories of places pulsating in an alternative dimension invisible to the naked eye are made visible through my peelings.
The stories of place and the process of making layer on layers with traces left behind from where the peels come from are then captured in thick wet malleable resins and pigments, fibreglass and substrata to become a reimagined peeling back of the surface to reveal what remains. The peelings play with chance, surprise and the unknown. What sets into the wet materials becomes part of the artwork and the applied materials are intuitively selected, guided by curiosity and the desire to capture space, and reveal form.