Regrets About Destroying My Early Artwork

Essay by Luke Foster

“He who strays from tradition becomes a
sacrifice to the extraordinary; he who remains in tradition is its
slave. Destruction follows in any case.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Not much of my early artwork from art school or soon after has survived however as seen on my website I had proficient photographer friends to document my art for me including Fernando Pino and Katthy Cavaliere.

My biggest regret was over destroying my papier mache sculpture Return to Sender that toured around regional galleries in Australia ending at Flinders University Art Gallery in Adelaide in a group show on the theme of the package. Since they liked the work and the immense cost of sending it back to Sydney they asked if they could keep it in their collection. However, I asked for it back and then smashed it up soon after as I couldn’t afford to pay for storage and my frustration with it. Me and my flat mate Brian Catchpole thought of creative ways to destroy it and my favourite was build a raft and send it out on Sydney Harbour and then burn it was an arrow on fire from a bow.

Return to Sender sculpture/ video installation.

I deeply regret smashing up the elephant and it could have remained still at Flinders Gallery.

Other artworks I threw out or destroyed were Aten, the Ocean Room, Self as Cocoon, My Top Twenty-Five Intellectuals sculpture from the Big Ci, all the big paintings I did on my first trip to South Korea and all my zines and original a4 drawings from the late nineties.

“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation – a force for construction and destruction.”

Jonathan Haidt