This drawing was judged a Finalist in 3rd Arc Yinnar Drawing Prize 2010 and also
St Michael’s Exhibition & Archangel Prize 2011 (Theme: Space & Place)
Lost & Found: Conversation (Formerly Emotional Spaces 2)
Charcoal, dry pastel & oil pastel , 75 x 81 cm
Lost & Found : Exchange (Formerly Emotional Spaces 3)
Charcoal & pastel, 77 x 97 cm
This drawing was judged as a Finalist in 3rd Arc Yinnar Drawing Prize 2010
Search For Culture: Space Junk
Charcoal, dry pastel & oil pastel, 71 x 103 cm
Three works developed more recent from this group although the last two weren’t included
in the exhibition due to space limitations.
When I started the music-inspired project I was also doing some works of figures
in the landscape. These works were instigated by a sad event – a close friend had
passed away and his memorial was held on a beautiful but lonely beach in southern
At the memorial I observed the way people were grouped, many choosing to walk alone
in thought, others to be close to family and friends. This made me think of the way
we create personal space around ourselves and how this changes under different circumstances.
In Feb 2015 I have exhibited with a group of 4 other artists in an exhibition called
‘Linked By Landscape’ held at Burrinja Gallery in Upwey, Opening was 1pm on Saturday
February 28 2015 and was very successful with an estimated 140 people attending.
My works for this exhibition are mainly based on exploring the figure in the landscape,
with an interest in the spaces between figures in different circumstances.
However, I discovered that some landscapes could not hold a figure and each time
a figure was incorporated into the composition it just didn’t work, so there will
be figureless landscapes too.
I think that the explanation for this is that some landscapes have such a presence
that they take on their own persona.
The 12 works submitted for this exhibition can be divided into 3 groupings:
· the cliff rock formation from Wonboyn, (near Ben Boyd National Park) in southern
· the beach at Wonboyn
· Drouin’s orange trees
Linked By Landscape Exhibition
Land of Heart’s Desire (Resilience) Oil & acrylic on canvas 163 x 122 cm
‘Land of Heart’s Desire (Resilience)’ was like the ‘mother’ painting that inspired
a further 3 works, it took about a year to complete and went through various stages
of development. I was captivated by the tree forcing its existence out of the rugged
rocky environment, looked down upon by the trees along the skyline in the sunshine
above. I was also captivated by the various rock formations and layers in the rocky
strata eroded by time that accentuate the age and resilience of the Australian landscape.
Two of the paintings that came from Land of Heart’s Desire are ‘Yellow Girl’and ‘Rustle
Because I became so familiar with the subject matter with the larger painting these
two were completed in only a few days each. So while the time spent painting these
was more spontaneous you could say they took a year also. I was very happy with these
two, utilising much looser brushstrokes and more vibrant and harmonious use of colour.
I wanted to capture the sense of the wind blowing through the landscape in both of
these and I think the horizontal format captures that aspect whereas the larger painting
captures a feeling of monumentality. Land of Heart’s Desire the title comes from
a W.B Yeats poem and it seemed to fit the context of it being the place where our
friend’s ashes where cast.
I also call it Resilience because it required quite a bit of that to complete it!
Yellow Girl, Oil on canvas 45 x 90cm
Rustle of Wind, Oil on canvas 45 x 90 cm
Lost & Found - Feel the Wind
Graphite on Fabriano paper 108 x 85 cm
This drawing was done as a study for the grasses in Land of Heart’s Desire.
In this work I used graphite stick and quite a sharp eraser to really work the image
and push the medium around, trying to instil the energy of the wind through the grasses.
Because the Fabriano paper is such a beautiful surface to work on - strong yet giving
- it was able to take the hard working of the surface inflicted on it. It fascinates
me how these plants, made up of delicate individual strands, become like a whole
writhing organism when it is caught in the wind.
I included the inconspicuous figures of two young friends to finish off the scene,
they both love being in the outdoors and don’t mind the wind in their hair. Although
titled Lost and Found it refers here to how you can lose yourself in the wind and
how this can be part of finding yourself.
These works were cathartic for me and I didn’t initially make them for public viewing
but then the works became more about playing with body language and the spaces between
figures within this wide open space of the beach.
I called this series Lost and Found and is about love and loss. There is the melancholy
feeling of the emotion felt by the friends who were there due to their loss but the
pristine environment of the place offered a place to reflect and find a sense of
healing. I don’t see melancholy as a negative state but an essential aspect of human
Apart from some minor finishing these 3 drawings were mostly done in 2010.
I Dedicate these works to RodTaylor RIP
Melancholy beach at Wonboyn
This was the place a good friend chose to have his ashes cast into the wind and sea.
He was taken by cancer but spent his final couple of years living at Wonboyn and
it was a place he felt most happy, inspired and also solace.
So a group of friends and relatives travelled to Wonboyn after his passing to remember
his life and celebrate the person he was. As the friends dealt in their own ways
with their grief and sadness I was struck by the distances between individuals in
this vast open space where we came together. The way a glance could connect a figure
with another across the composition and how tensions and energies could be created
Search For Culture: Muse
Oil on canvas 61 x 61 cm
Red Girl Goauche & Pen 45 x 56 cm
In Search for Culture I could see the potential for varying the object being viewed
but I ran out of time so this may become another project for the future, especially
for printmaking potential.
In the first I substituted a piece of space junk (my son’s current band is called
Space Junk so it would reference that) but also reflects my environmental concerns
for the future. Humanity is entering an age with numerous environmental challenges.
The second Search for Culture: Muse is exploring my own confusion about culture.
I think for me art has been a way for me to explore my identity and has also become
my identity and my muse. The reference here is a sculpture that I have always admired
by Brancusi called Sleep, 1908. Brancusi used the idea of this form, (the reclining
head shape) repeating and refining it during his lifetime, simplifying to discover
the purest form (ie the many versions of Sleeping Muse and The Newborn).
I’ve placed the sculpture as if it has been found and upturned like discovering a
rare fossil. I think in Australia culture is a thing that is often hidden, possibly
so confusing that it is feared but waiting to be discovered. Apart from indigenous
Australians who although they have been displaced have a sense of their culture whereas
the rest are one big melting pot of cultures and we haven’t reconciled this.
The last paintings in the exhibition are of Drouin’s orange trees.
Along the road near Drouin Secondary College there is a plantation of Smooth barked
Apple Gums or Angophora costata. In summer these trees shed their grey bark to reveal
the fresh luminous orange new bark that fades to a warm mottled grey throughout the
year. They also flower at this time with heavy bunches of creamy yellow flowers.
Along with the flowering Ficifolia trees in Drouin, for me the Angophora trees symbolise
the warmth of summer and the intense light of the season.
Oil on canvas 46 x 46 cm
Oil on canvas 46 x 46 cm
The aim was to capture the glow of colour and the haze of summer as you look up into
These might seem odd to include in the exhibition that is predominantly situated
at Wonboyn or coastal regions but these two paintings were painted following the
passing of my partner’s mother, again to cancer and so they fit the theme of love
The title ‘Look Overhead’ comes from a poem by John Keats that I read at Roma’s funeral
that summed up her gentle nature, her passion for life and her affinity with Nature
– I admired her and felt very close to her.