A life in pictures

GateMost (but not all) of the images in Fish Out Of Water are by Craig Bingham. Here’s a little explanation of where these images come from, how they were made, and why they are here.

Clicking the images on this page will take you to the page where the image was first featured.

Not all the images have been listed yet.



Fish Seesaw dicenet
Untitled landscape (dragon mountains) Untitled (abstract woman) Death. Eye. Dog (four images)
Bio pic (Craig Bingham) Weeds
Rivendell Shopping environment
Welcome (shed) Untitled (teeth)
Portrait of the artist as a young wanker Untitled (portrait)
Fish (young fish) Detail from ‘Four coordinates’
Whizz Zock Bang The Reaper
Sculpture by the Sea Pregnant girl  .



Photograph of a collage, circa 2014. About 1.3 x 1 m. Paper-covered polystyrene painted with acrylics, CDs, plastic grille, glue, pins. The original artwork used to hang outside the front door of our house in Concord West. When we sold the house, the new owners asked to keep the picture. Knowing that the work was too fragile to move, I said yes. It’s gone now.

This work arose from my unwillingness to simply throw away CDs that had become useless, coupled with the superficial observation that CDs look a bit like fish scales. In real life, the picture changed colour quite beautifully with the weather or with a change in viewpoint.

Untitled landscape (dragon mountains)


Photograph of a detail of a painting, 1999. Red wine and acrylic paint on board.

The photograph below shows the whole painting, which is about 1.9 x 1.07 m including the handpainted frame.

landscape_s Like most of the paintings I have ever done, this took a ridiculously long time to do. It started with red wine on board. That is, I had some red wine on board, and I decided to put some red wine on a board. For weeks on end the unfinished painting occupied our dining room table or the floor of our living room while I added small details. A lot of it was painted by flowing wet paint over wet paint. I used olive oil to create a resist in some places, which preserved little bubble-shaped patches of layers beneath.

I am not a good painter, but I love painting. It can be a wonderful meditative experience working with paint. Most of my work is decorative and, if the pictures have any meaning, it is the meaning that engagement brings to them. I have written a novel called The story of the picture in which pictures are full of meaning. Appropriately enough, this is both a fantasy and a satire.

Bio pic (Craig Bingham)

craigwiredThis clumsy gif animation joins a rather cleancut picture of me in 2017 with a horrible picture of me from a couple of years before that. Neither one of these pictures really looks me.

The gif is programmed to play once. If you really want to see it through again, you will have to refresh the page.

I generally dislike having my picture taken. I try not to be too precious about it. Vanity makes some people shy of photography and others keen to be photographed. Stoic indifference to the whole process would be more admirable. If you find a human being who has mastered that, let me know.No

A version of the horrible picture is also used with a horrible poem called NO, part of the Grumpy Suite. The background of the image has been edited with Photoshop’s radial blur filter.



Lena and the persimmon tree
Lena and the persimmon tree

This photo (circa 2010) is taken at Rivendell on the Parramatta River, home of the Rivendell Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Service — but it really could be Middle Earth, couldn’t it? Every year the persimmon tree, which stands alone in a paddock by the water, does this amazing show of autumnal leaves. It also fruits beautifully, and some locals are quick to take the harvest.

Welcome (shed)


I just love this photo. Concord West, circa 2000. Peach blossom in front of a old garden shed, since demolished. The shed stored stuff that we had no use for but could not bear to part with.

Portrait of the artist as a young wanker


This picture is well explained on the page where it first appeared.

Portrait of the artist as a young wanker (c. 1983). This photograph by Stephen Alexander is a picture of me in the house where I lived for several years as a young man. The picture in the background (partially obscured) is called The Assascension of Julius Christ. It was painted on my back door using acrylic and enamel paints, pen, pencil, papier mache, brown sugar (to encourage ants to eat parts of the surface), newspaper collage, foil and a nail. The painting was destroyed about 1987 when my mother attempted to transport it to her house for safe-keeping and it blew off the roof-rack of her car.

Fish (young fish)

fish out of water

This is a photo of a gate in Christchurch, 2010. I chose it to illustrate Young fish because it shows a fish swimming in air (as if that were its element) and apparently escaping an iron net. Or is it in fact caught?

I wish I had the details of the artist and the building, but I was just being a tourist at the time and didn’t take notes.

Whizz Zock Bang

WhizzZockBang3 WhizzZockBang1 WhizzZockBang2

I produced these diagrams in Adobe Illustrator to illustrate some key concepts from the game of Whizz Zock Bang. They are shown larger on the Word games page.

Sculpture by the sea

Sculpture by the seaThis picture captures a detail of a beautiful glass sculpture above the rocks near Bondi. The sculpture is by Toshio Iezumi. It was exhibited in the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in 2010.

No special treatment of the photo was required to achieve this image – just a tight crop.



I needed a picture to illustrate the blog post about this story, which I was in a hurry to put online, so I scribbled something on a piece of dirty paper with lead pencil, felt pen and highlighter. I photographed the sketch and adjusted brightness, contrast, hue and vibrance in Photoshop, which turned the dirt into a delicately shaded background.

Untitled (abstract woman)


I did this painting sometime in the 1990s, but it is undated as well as unsigned. Acrylic on masonite, 102 x 79 cm.  Often paintings look better when photographed, but not this one. However, I did think it was something like a painting by the fictional Tobin Fletcher, who is one of the artists in The story of the picture.



I took this photo of weeds to illustrate the poem points to consider.  It is not very good, is it?

Shopping environment

Shopping_environmentThe idea of this concrete poem is that its appearance mimics the banal architecture of its subject. Produced in Word, saved to pdf, brought into Photoshop for detailing.

Shopping centres are emblematic of a certain weirdness about our culture: we love them, we hate them; we tolerate much that is awful about them and what is awful about them is often exactly what has been designed into them to make them function effectively as money-making machines.

Because shopping centres are a mixture of horror and pleasure, I believe we train our senses to avoid seeing them as they really are.  For instance, everyone accepts that their visit should begin with a tour of a hot, smelly, greasy, grey wasteland called a carpark, and that the glamour need not begin until we have passed through glass doors into some sort of atrium. It is as if we choose not to see the carpark, not wishing it to stain the pleasure we anticipate in shopping for tomorrow’s garbage.

Untitled (teeth)


This image is a detail from one of the oldest paintings I have put online. I painted it in Redfern, therefore sometime between 1981 and 1987. Black spray paint and acrylic paint on board, with string, matchbox insert and plastic novelty teeth. Approximately 1.3 x 0.9m. Unsigned.

I will always cherish the sheer joy of discovering that my tatty fan brush could be used to make the sluglike shapes that track across the left side of the picture. Some people think the teeth are a mistake, but they are wrong.

Below is a photo of the whole painting.



Untitled (portrait)


I kept this photographic accident because I thought it was beautiful, and then selected it to illustrate David Foster Wallace sits at his desk alone because its suggestive ambiguity and dynamism seemed appropriate for the subject matter.

In no other sense is this a photoportrait of David Foster Wallace.

If I told you that it is ‘really’ a happy snap taken in a Croatian cafe in 2015, and that the red shape in the foreground is an Aperol spritz garnished with a wedge of lemon, would you be disappointed?

Detail from ‘Four coordinates’


I generated this image within Photoshop, using a highly magnified background texture and the paintbrush tool, specifically to illustrate this piece of writing.

The Reaper

The Reaper. Kazimir Malevich. Oil on canvas. In the Nizhny Novgorod State Museum of Fine Arts

This image is not by me. It is a great modernist painting by Kazimir Malevich, painted in 1912-1913 (that is, before World War One). I like it as a modern image of a primitive figure, a Russian peasant. The war was soon to reap both the old and the new, destroying much of the past, but also taking away many potential futures by destroying progressive young people throughout Europe. Not Malevich — he survived the war. As I comment at the end of my story, departure, we will never know what we lost.

Pregnant girl

Pregnant_girlThe story behind this picture is very like the story behind Seesaw. Needing an illustration in a hurry, I scribbled something on a piece of scrap paper with lead pencil. I photographed the sketch and adjusted brightness, contrast, hue and vibrance in Photoshop, which magically gave the background its mottled tints.


dicenetWhen I first wrote accidence, I presented it as a cube, with one part of the story on each face. Each face was underprinted with the traditional die dots representing one to six.

It was possible to read the story in random order by rolling the cube and reading the uppermost face, then tipping the cube to read on.

Later, when considering linear presentations of the narrative, I considered the flat two-dimensional representation of a cube known in mathematics as a dice net. There are 11 different dice nets for a cube, but only four of these are unambiguously linear. I selected one of these. Finally, it is traditional that the opposite sides of a die add up to seven.

The plan illustrated above is therefore one of the linear possibilities for arranging the six parts of accidence, and I found it satisfactory.

I created the illustration in Adobe Illustrator.

The physical structure of accidence guided its development in other ways.

die_1 First person singular, present tense, indicative mood, active voice
die_2 Second person singular, future tense, indicative mood, active voice
die_3 Third person singular, present tense, indicative mood, active voice
die_4 First person plural, present tense, imperative mood, active voice
die_5 Second person plural, past tense, interrogative mood, active voice
die_6 Third person plural, past tense, indicative mood, passive voice

Death. Eye. Dog (four images)




I abstracted/montaged these images in Photoshop to illustrate Death of a Bannister, wanting to suggest something of the creepiness of the moribund billionaire and the weirdness of his final delirium. Below are the original photographs used as source material: iguana in Taronga Zoo; accidental pocket images; dogs.


Dido_the_dog dog.

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