NOCTURNE: An exhibition from Chris Denaro

One of the pieces on show in the Nocturne exhibition

Animation blurs boundaries of history, memory and imagination

Nocturne,the latest exhibition from Brisbane animator Chris Denaro, incorporates a blend of physical stop motion and digital motion graphics to embody the genius loci, or spirit of place, of Teerk Roo Ra in Moreton Bay, Queensland.

This project is the final part of Chris’s Doctorate at the Queensland College of Art, where he has explored the capacity of animation to push and pull at the boundary lines between what is perceived as ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’.

Chris describes his work as an “investigation into how conceptions of place are overlaid by aspects of history, memory and the imagination”.

“TheNocturneconstructions cycle forever, with no beginning and no end, only a slightly familiar hypnotic rhythm to describe a continual process of adaptation and renewal,” he says.

“These artworks consider the animation loop as a mental state, rather than a sequence of events which illustrate a narrative.

“This narrative approach is how people typically engage with animation and is the approach used by Disney and Pixar – whereas my approach is more open-ended, contemplative, challenging and gallery-based.

“The loop can also be an anxious, compulsive place, divorced from the linear nature of reality, hypnotised in a trance like repetition,” he explains.


Before commencing his Doctorate in 2009, Chris spent over ten years as a 3D and VFX artist in Melbourne, The Netherlands and Scotland before returning home to Brisbane to continue his career before taking up a host of academic positions.

“I was drawn back to South East Queensland because I love it here and I wanted to find an innovative way to respond to this place,” Chris continues.

“The doctorate allowed me to contemporise my practice and combine aspects of physical animation with digital animation.

“It gave me the opportunity to engage with my immediate physical environment in a tactile way using stop motion.”

It was his own family history that prompted him to explore the region of Moreton Bay.

“Denaros are fisherman,” Chris says.

“I have vivid childhood memories of fishing with my father and grandfather in a small boat in Moreton Bay.

“Even my great, great grandfather, who arrived here from Italy in the 1800s, was a fisherman in the very same area.”

Chris defineshis next goalas a continuedinvestigation of place in Queensland, with future projects based in his home suburb of Logan and also North Queensland where he previously worked on many farms.


Official opening Thursday 19 February, 6-8pm

Exhibition runs from 18-21 February

Open from Wed-Fri: 10am-4pm, Sat: 10am-2pm

The Hold Artspace, Level 2, 274 Montague Road, West End