PRICE: $165.00AUD each
Handprinted on 300gsm, acid-free, 100% cotton-rag, Somerset Velvet White fine art museum grade paper. Each print is signed and numbered and includes a Certificate of Authenticity.
A total of 30 prints are available in this limited edition. There are 6 prints only for each colour scheme.
Thank you for considering buying this print, you will help with crisis relief and wellbeing support for Australian music industry workers in need. Proceeds to be donated to Support Act
To purchase a print, please fill in the form below and I will send payment details. When your payment has been received, you will be emailed confirmation of your order and an invoice for $165.00. Your limited edition print will be sent by Express Post. Please allow 5 - 7 working days for delivery.
International enquiries, please email me for payment instructions and shipping costs.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Returns, exchanges and refunds are not accepted, but please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
If you believe an error has been made with your oder please contact me asap with your concern.
If you believe an error has been made with your oder please contact me asap with your concern.
All items are shipped Express by Australia Post unless otherwise requested. Orders are shipped within 2 working days of receiving payment, however during very busy times it may take a little longer.
All items are shipped for maximum protection. Unfortunately, I cannot assume responsibility for packages once they are shipped. It's also important to ensure your address is correct. Once your order is placed, it will be shipped to the address shown and unfortunately I can't intercept or change the delivery address once it's shipped.
Each print from this limited edition is slightly different from each other due to the nature of the screen printing process. This makes each print unique.
The image size is 53cm wide by 26cm high and the paper size allows for a white border around the image for mat clearance, and to avoid damage to the printed area. It also allows for handling without the need to touch the actual print area. I recommend having a professional framer mount and frame the artwork for you. If possible, it's best to choose your frames after you receive your print. That way, you can make sure your artwork will be showcased beautifully!
The colors you see on your computer screen may differ slightly to the actual print due to variations in monitors. If you have any questions regarding colours etc, please send a message before purchasing as no refunds or exchanges are possible, due to the delicate nature of paper prints. Each print is numbered with my signature at the bottom of the paper. A Certificate of Authenticity is included so you know it's straight from my studio!
Caring for your print
To protect your investment in this fine art serigraph print, do not display in direct sunlight. If kept under favourable conditions and not tampered with or damaged, this serigraph print is expected to last without fading or discolouration for at least 85 years.
The sole copyright of the original limited edition is retained by the artist, Gregory O'Connor. Any unauthorised reproduction is in violation of international copyright law. This print is limited to one worldwide edition with certificate of authenticity and numbered verso. All information and statements contained herein are true and correct
THE PRINTMAKING PROCESS
The original linocut proofs from 1987 of the front and back cover art were scanned and joined together.
The images are sent to a production house and output to positive film.
The positive films are exposed onto silkscreens that are coated with a light sensitive emulsion, ready for printing.
The black is printed first then each of the five selected colours.
The finished prints are signed and numbered.
All inks and emulsions used in this water based printing process are non-toxic and not harmful to the environment.
PROOFS TAKEN FROM THE ORIGINAL LINOCUT BLOCKS (1987)
The colour black stencil is printed first. Each colour for the sky is printed with a separate silkscreen stencil.
DAVID NICHOLS INTERVIEWS GREG O'CONNOR ABOUT CITY FLAT
The cover art for City Flat - based on a London skyline?
Boom Crash Opera arrived in London on January 14, 1987 straight from the bright mid-summer sunlight of
Melbourne. It was like stepping out of a Heidelberg School painting by Arthur Streeton and into Claude
Monet’s, ‘Houses of Parliament’ (1904).
When we left Heathrow Airport and headed for St.Johns Wood, it was 4:30pm and an eerie twilight was
descending over us. The early evening mist was chilly and infused with diesel fumes, the dull yellow street
lights were already on.
I woke at 8:30am the next morning and pulled back the curtains. It was just getting light. I could see an
entire street of suburban Georgian rooftops silhouetted against a grey dawn. The flats looked familiar, it felt
like inner Melbourne, so I took a photo (which would become the inspiration for the City Flat cover art).
At the time, I was a great admirer of German Expressionism and the more I walked home from RAK
recording studios at the end of the day, the more those Georgian rooftops began to look like Karl Schmidt-
Rottluff linocuts and paintings, particularly ‘Houses At Night’ (1912).
When I returned to Melbourne (nearly six months later and ten years older), I created a linocut from the
photo I took of the flats on day one.
Phil Judd (founding member of Split Enz and The Swingers), who was a close friend, suggested I take
the linocut to the Australian Print Workshop in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy to have it printed. The prints were
then sent to our record company in Sydney. The City Flat vinyl single covers (12 inch and 7 inch) were
produced in five different colour schemes (I stole that idea from Split Enz’s ’True Colours’ album. Sorry Noel,
all props to you - x).
What do you recall about recording it in London - how was it brought into the sessions?
We first recorded City Flat in 1985 for the ABC’s ‘Cooking with George’ compilation. It sank without a trace.
When producer Alex Sadkin heard City Flat, he wanted to re-record it. After 2 weeks of pre-production, we
selected a batch of songs to record.
He thought City Flat could be the first single off our album. He was very focussed on the rhythm section.
When that song was written, we were all under the influence of early Hunters & Collectors and the inner
Melbourne scene. We wanted to push that further, Alex Sadkin was the man to do it.
We spent weeks recording and mixing City Flat until Alex finally had it “in the pocket”.
Our engineer once told us, “When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I mix City Flat”.
Alex liked our Australian quirkiness. A few years earlier, he’d produced an album with Duran Duran in
Sydney but never wanted to go back there again.
What does the song mean to you personally, do you have an interpretation of it?
I took Peter Farnan’s lyrics to heart. Melbourne was flat and at the bottom of the world.
When we revisited the song in London, we were at the top of the world, the northern hemisphere, 1000
miles further away from the equator than Melbourne was. Homesickness, melancholy, fog, snow in the
streets, traffic, noise, anonymity had found it’s way into my keyboard parts for City Flat.
In the verses I imagined our dreams would inhabit the streets at night, sneaking and sliding along, looking
for openings and opportunities. The keyboard parts for the bridge of the song represented waking up from
the dream, the chorus parts (?) are me, mimicking peak hour traffic noises and urban anxiety.
Like Georgian architecture, I chose to keep my parts symmetrical and ornamentally restrained but charged
with emotion behind closed curtains. Alex Sadkin gave me the space to hide in plain sight.
What do you remember about the video shoot for the song?
While we were in London, I went to see a film in Hampstead Heath called ‘Down By Law’ by film maker, Jim
Jarmusch (starring Tom Waits).
There was scene where the camera was slowly tracking past houses along a street in Louisiana.
It was black and white and looked like it was shot on a Bolex 16mm camera. Those houses could have
been in Richmond, inner Melbourne. I instantly imagined the verses of City Flat over this scene, not Tom
Waits singing ‘Jockey Full of Bourbon’.
Phil Judd had art directed a video for Hunters and Collectors in 1986 called ‘Is There Anybody In There?’. I
contacted Phil from London and asked if he would art direct City Flat. I sent him a rough mix of the song
and he came back with a concept of the band playing in a theatre that was full of chairs and tables stacked
to the ceiling.
Our management was furious I’d sent a mix of City Flat without their permission. Unfortunately, Phil didn’t
get the gig. 1n 1988, Crowded House released a fantastic song called ‘Better be Home Soon’. The video for
the song was set in a theatre full of chairs and tables stacked to the ceiling. Phil Judd and Nick Seymour
were buddies and I was happy.
Fast forward six months and Boom Crash Opera are all back in Melbourne. I was now living in an Art Deco
flat on High Street, Armidale.
I contacted Michael ‘Boffa’ Williams who had filmed our second ever video, ’Hands Up In The Air’, (also
He too was a fan of Jim Jarmusch and had made a video for Joe Camilleri that looked like ’Stranger Than
Paradise’ (Jim Jarmusch). At the time, he was putting together a quasi abstract photographic exhibition
about Melbourne (eventually called ‘Chromophobia’).
Michael was excited about making a video (albeit pop) for City Flat.
It was winter. One night while standing on my balcony, trying to dream up ideas for the video, I saw a ‘Class
W’ tram emerging from the fog, covered in bright light bulbs and engulfed in a huge halo of light.
It looked like a small Las Vegas casino on wheels as it passed quietly by. Right there, that was the dream,
the opportunity, my keyboard parts in the verses of City Flat. I insisted to Michael we get THAT tram in our
The video ended up with sight gags about flat tyres, theatrical ‘flats’ (towards the end on the video, stage
hands are struggling to erect two ‘flats’ of buildings…the ‘Houses At Night’ by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff…
while the band are playing the song on a studio set).
The video finishes with Dale Ryder and I, coffees in hand, no car, waiting for that tram to take us home.
Alex Sadkin and I always talked about art and architecture (more than music) and he loved visiting galleries.
We went to the Tate Gallery to see a Van Gogh exhibition, on the way home I mentioned how much I liked
the architect Mies Van Der Rohe and the Bauhaus. The next morning when he came to the studio, he gave
me his book on Mies Van Der Rohe and told me to keep it. It’s a treasure I’ll never part with.
Boom Crash Opera went on tour to promote City Flat in the winter of 1987. While in Sydney, we were told
the news that Alex Sadkin had been critically injured in a car accident in the Bahamas. By the time we
reached Canberra he had died. We held each other up in a motel car park after we were told.
The wind went out of ours sails for a while. City Flat became City Flop but we found something out there
that made us even more hungry.
Associate Professor Nichols teaches in urban planning history, theory, and social and cultural planning. He has published in 20th century Australian planning and urban history as well as on cultural, socio-historical and heritage issues.