Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Australian art

Contemporary art

View More:


Surf painting / blood disco



Scott Redford


1962 -


Scott Redford's layered body of work embodies a synthesis of regionalism, identity, abstraction and pop culture. He is one of Australia's finest 'post-conceptual' painters, as well as working with sculpture and photography.

Redford has exhibited widely in Australia and the very extensive literature on his practice, including two substantial monographic publications, is an indication of the appeal his work has had to writers, critics and other artists. In addition to a very sophisticated engagement with current theoretical concerns, his work is very accessible as he utilises a visual language derived equally from abstract painting and pop/media culture. He has been influential on a younger generation of artists, an influence which has at times has been overlooked, perhaps because of his resolute commitment to staying in Brisbane.

'Surf painting / blood disco' is a really great example of Redford's 'surf paintings', where he creates artworks from the same materials and processes used to make surfboards. Growing up on the Gold Coast and living in Brisbane, Redford has used the surfboard as a locating icon, a distinctively Australian and Queensland symbol of local culture and aspirations. While many of his 'surf paintings' have been figurative, with paintings of high rises and palm trees, this one brilliantly incorporates his interest in modernism, identity and sub-cultures.

The blue stripes on the red ground could be hard edge abstraction in revved up colours, a ducco version of Barnett Newman or Ellsworth Kelly, or equally they could be racing stripes from the souped-up hotrod decal in the corner. They recall the car paint used in Ian Burn's 'Blue Reflex', in the AGNSW collection. The car has flames across the body and bonnet and the words 'blood disco' a reference to HIV and AIDS. This work situates itself between these references as well as Redford's interest in modernist formalism as a visual language available in a regional version made "dense with desire, physicality and politics". (Schubert, 'Learn by Heart')




Media category


Materials used

resin over acrylic on foamcore


240.0 x 120.0 cm


Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2002


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Scott Redford

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Brett Adlington, The contents of these paintings is secret, known only to the people of Surfers Paradise: Scott Redford and the Gold Coast, 'Gleaning and/or proposing', pg. 11-18, Gold Coast, 2005, 16 (colour illus.).

George Alexander, Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 'Popism and screen culture', pg.204-245, Sydney, 2006, 236, 237 (colour illus.).

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2003 [for the year ended 30 June 2003], 'Year in review', pg.14-35, Sydney, 2003, 18.

Alison Harper, Art and Australia (Vol. 41, No. 1), 'Recent museum acquisitions: contemporary art', pg. 114-117, Sydney, Sep 2003-Nov 2003, 116 (colour illus.).

Connell Nisbet, Look, 'Acquisitive minds', pg. 23-27, Sydney, Dec 2003-Jan 2004, 23 (colour illus.).