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November 28, 2019

Who is Ghostpatrol?

One of the original artists behind Melbourne's street art boom is now exhibiting under his given name and opening his 10th show at Hugo Michell Gallery tonight.

  • Art: David Booth [Ghostpatrol]
  • Featured image: Battle Bones, 2019 marine ply, flock medium, synthetic polymer paint and polyuretha

Quiet fans of David Booth for more than a decade, CityMag first discovered the artist also known as Ghostpatrol in a book on Melbourne’s rabid graffiti and street art scene in the late noughties. We have watched his practice grow larger and smaller across materials such as wind turbines and Japan Rail ticket stubs with great admiration.

In his latest show at Hugo Michell Gallery, Hello Blue Sky, David again builds an exhibition that completely takes over the three-dimensional volume of available space within the building. Filling the gallery with the always imaginative inner workings of his mind, David’s latest show is another ticket into a world where fun is the only motivation for being.


David Booth [Ghostpatrol], Hello Blue Sky launches tonight Thursday 28 November 2019 from 6pm – 8pm

Hugo Michell Gallery
260 Portrush Rd,
Beulah Park SA 5067


CityMag: This show features more sculptural work – or am I dreaming? 
David Booth [Ghostpatrol]: Yes, I’ve got a new set of small sculptures to share. My dad recently retired, so he and I spent the year building a workshop together in his backyard. We laid the slab and built the whole thing. It’s been really nice to have a great, messy space to play and evolve my woodwork skills.

The ply wood sculptural works have captured my imagination – when did you start whittling with this particular material?
I’ve been playing around with different wood for many years, but I’ve recently settled on marine ply as my favourite. It works well for experimenting and I like the layering look. It’s so nice to start out rough and smooth and sand something with your hands. It’s a really fun and rewarding process. I’ve got a long way to go with this medium, and that’s the appeal.

Dolphin Focus Object, 2019 marine ply, synthetic polymer paint and resin (28 x 13 x 24 cm)

Oktadekillion, 2019 watercolour and pencil on paper (77 x 108 cm)


Your shows at Hugo Michell Gallery (HMG) at least are always incredibly immersive. You create worlds, or dialogues within your work. They all seem to speak to each other. How do you describe your approach to making an exhibition like this?
This is my 10th year exhibiting with Hugo, so I know the space really well. So I’m always thinking of new ideas that fit the space. It’s nice to return to this space and try different things over the years. I guess I approach each exhibition as a single work. I really want to make experiences, to give people a reason to visit the physical space. I want people to feel welcome and to be inspired. I hope that people see my work and want to make their own versions. I hope that my shows feel fun and makes people feel less lonely. I’m always looking forward to making a new exhibition at HMG.

We’ve been noting you’re moving away from Ghostpatrol – though it’s still in brackets – is this just a natural progression of what you’re comfortable with? Is it a move away from anonymity? Why are we seeing David Booth’s name more and more?
Ummm I’m not sure anymore, I like using both. It’s been more than 10 years since I could hide behind that name. It works as a unique name, but I also like being a normal human with a normal name – my name. To be honest, I don’t really think about it very much.

You seem to do very well in South Australia. You’ve got a good couple of contacts – dare we say friends – here. What do you like about Adelaide?
I’ve been so lucky to have a strong connection to Adelaide. I love it here. There’s so much good art, food and people here. I feel like I’ve had access to the best secret in Australia. The friendliness and talent levels in Adelaide is off the charts. It’s easily the healthiest arts community in Australia.

Lyrebird in Sherbrooke Forest, 2019 gouache and pencil paper cut (74 x 54 cm)

Prostanthera Lasianthos, 2019 gouache and pencil paper cut (75 x 75 cm)


If you’re going to eat a sandwich you make for yourself, what are you going to put on it (this may not appear in the story – we just might make this sandwich at home)?
If I had the skills to make a Katsu Sandwich at home, that would be it.

What / who is your latest muse?
My partner Carla is easily my biggest inspiration. The source of all joy and adventure. Carla has her own practice that inspires me, and we often get to paint murals together. It’s nice to have someone so special in my life as we walk hand and hand towards the end times.

Dolphin for Holding, 2019
marine ply and beeswax (26 x 8 x 9 cm)

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