JAMES HULLICK BIOGRAPHY

“a synthesis of Ivan Durrant’s butchery and Nigel Hellyer’s noise works, Stelarc’s prosthetics and Peter Singer’s ethics” David Hansen, The Age (regarding the work “is there a spirit in those bones?” 2006)

"The Sunday evening performance at the North Melbourne Town Hall was presented in impressive 16 speaker surround sound, with the performers in the middle of the space and the audience divided into 2 blocks facing each other. James Hullick presented a composition for various instruments, vocalists and soundscape. The piece had a radiophonic feel, as acoustic instrumental explorations skittered around the room, accompanied by barely discernible voices, snippets of text floating to the surface above surging field recording atmospherics. This nicely crafted and spatialised piece took on an even more impressive dimension, when at the conclusion the stage curtain opened to reveal the musicians and actors who had in fact been performing live.” Gail Priest, Realtime Magazine (regarding the work “the whiteness” 2005)

“This is sterling stuff.” Penny Webb, The Age (regarding the work “+ reduction” 2004)

Dark and disturbing landscapes. Penetrating bright light. Black humour. Challenging issues. Hullick’s work is characterised by an unusual ability to use sound to engage in social issues.

Hullick has found firm artistic footing as a composer, pianist, vocalist and sound artist. His sonic works have been presented in Asia, North America and Europe for a variety of ensembles and electronic formats. His willingness to engage with the relevant issues of the community is continuously exemplified though his works. “Shelf Life” – a 24 hour piano improvisation set in a shop in Vietnamese Footscray - addressed issues of immigration and colonisation at the coalface. His string quartet, “Dunera”, commissioned by Julian Burnside QC presented similar issues before a more affluent and potentially culpable audience at the Malthouse. His recent CD, performed by BOLT and titled BOLT, examines the face of Death in a materialist society in denial.

Hullick has, in recent years, imposed his clearly defined voice on the world of gallery based art installations, digitally driven visual art works and text art. The most recent of Hullick’s installations – “is there a spirit in those bones?” presented at Westspace Gallery– featured interactive robotic sound machines in an abattoir-like setting. This work addresses issues surrounding systems of control and the community’s willingness to comply without satisfactory debate.

There is a clear contradiction in the work of Hullick; an aggressive resistance to conform to any set ideology that constantly wrestles with an almost zealous desire to live compassionately. If you are seeking an easy listening art experience, with no debate required and with everything spelt out for you, then stay away from the works of Hullick – Barry Mannilow might be a more palatable option for you.

Hullick has completed a Masters in composition at Melbourne University and is currently researching the phenomenon of “Recursion” for his PhD in the School of Art at RMIT University.