Untitled [Suburban study] (1982) [W/P]

Synthetic polymer paint on 4 sheets of paper, c.160 x 115 overall

Private collection, Melbourne

Discussed in Carnival (where it was reproduced as the frontispiece) as a key preparatory study for Suburban 1983 and Suburban Interior 1983. This is the most elaborate of several related working drawings for the same composition. The assemblage of elements is based on source material from a mail order catalogue, collaged together by the artist by 1982 (reproduced in Carnival Fig.4.5), but with various surreal and subversive modifications. The four sheets of paper comprising the present work are now mounted on four separate small canvases.

One of Arkley’s archive slides of this work, with process date Oct82, is labelled ‘From Comic Stripping’; however, this note is not in Arkley’s hand-writing, and information provided by the University of Melbourne in July 2010 indicates that the three ‘working drawings’ shown at the ‘Comic Stripping’ exhibition at the George Paton Gallery in 1983 were other preliminary sketches (see main entry for 1983, under exhibitions, for specific details).


  • recorded in P/C Melb. in NGVA Arkley retrospective planning files 2006


  • HA TarraWarra 12/15-2/16


  • Carnival 115, Fig.4.7 and frontispiece: as ‘Working drawing for Suburban’, 1982