Doug Heslop

Bubba the Bunyip | 2024

Apathy Bores Me, 2018, installation of performance objects. Photo by Jessie Jane.
Apathy Bores Me, 2018, installation of performance objects. Photo by Jessie Jane.
Bubba the Bunyip. @ Kandos Hotel
At the back of the Kandos Pub, in a giant cage, you’ll find Bubba. We’re not quite sure what Bubba is, or where it came from. Some say its mother was shot by hunters, deep in the Wollemi. Other claim it was found, injured and bewildered after the Kandos Quarry blasted a cliff face, collapsing the cave in which the creature was sheltering. My Nanna’s cousin says he found it tangled in a net in the swamp Ganguddy. Whatever the truth of it, it was so long ago, people have forgotten all about it.


Doug Heslop has been making work since the 1990s. He went to National Art School, before getting a scholarship to complete his Honors degree in London, where he stayed for four years and set up squats with exhibition spaces and studios, whilst working for ArtAngel UK. Returning to Australia, he became immersed in the experimental art and music scene of Melbourne, studied a Master of Visual Art at VCA and worked on feature films and as an art technician for artists such as Bruce Armstrong and Lisa Rhodes, before moving to Newcastle to raise a family and still afford a studio. He has exhibited in London, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne and Ballarat, and is working towards an exhibition in Den Hague later this year.


My practice oscillates between performative social critique and abstract expressionism. I’m interested in questioning power structures and long-held beliefs, disrupting dominant narratives and challenging hegemony. Playfulness and dark humour are used as tools to explore contemporary issues, irreverently combining the Western art canon with low-brow culture and intuitive exploration. Moving between mediums, I strive to make work that exposes the truth of things while cheering myself up through artistic play. As a neurodivergent person, I move between introvert and extrovert, needing moments to be overwhelmed, and also quiet times for reflection and wonder. These polarities of existence, a complex personal history and a keen sense of justice, inform my work and sustain my drive for creation.

Materials | installation: sculptural, sound and painting elements
Location | Kandos Hotel