Themes Back

In 2001 I was invited to exhibit in WITHIN at the Switchback Gallery Monash University, curated by Bill Young. He wanted innovative work that was mostly new so I started work on Irresistible Yearning. I had struggled during my degree to come to terms with some of the attitudes like “Painting is dead”, “Beauty is outdated and irrelevant” - ideals that made me feel my work was obsolete.  I still had the personal belief that Nature was ultimately still the inspiration for Art and much of creativity, even though we are now consumed by technology.

I found this quote by Goethe:

“[S]He to whom Nature begins to reveal her open secret will feel an irresistible yearning for her most worthy interpreter - ART

Although this was probably written in the early 1800’s it resonated with my feelings as I’d always felt the most comforted while surrounded by Nature and the imagery I had been using was from Nature. So I again used the bark imagery for the background but embedded the quote within the imagery and used the fronds of ferns to spell ART linking the 2 canvases. This was the largest painting to date being 180x240cm.

Irresistible Yearning 2001 Diptych Oil on 2 canvases 180x240cm

The interesting thing that happened with this painting was that it revived a childhood memory. A phenomenon called Pareidolia often happens when I paint this kind of imagery, in this case a snake and a footprint appeared while I painted. The memory was of picking blackberries in a rural environment on the edge of the suburbs when a snake settled on my bare sandaled foot, I was about 10 years old. I froze and took the opportunity to really observe the snake and the beautiful pattern of its coppery scales shining in the sun. This was my first realisation that my interest in Art made me different - most other 10 year olds would panic.

I went on to explore this image in more figurative detail in 2008 and it became a significant symbol for other things that had happened to me during my young girl’s life. This became the title piece for my Snake At My Feet exhibition at the Convent Gallery in 2008.

Snake at my Feet 2008

Lithograph  60x40cm

Ripe For Picking 2008

Charcoal on grey paper 80x57cm

A Snake at my Feet 2008

Acrylic & pastel on silver board 100x57cm