More Ancient Than Time 1997

Oil & acrylic on canvas 152x92cm

Even after 8 years I was still affected by the 1989 trip to Central Australia. Painted in 1997 I was trying to express my feelings about the timeless quality of the Australian landscape. In this painting I have

created an imaginary chasm that is meant to symbolise the vast history of thousands of years of culture in Australia with rock art and carvings to indicate this culture. I have then placed the Venus de Milo, to symbolise the history of Western Art within this setting. The Greek statue is dwarfed by the huge expanse of the Australian story.

I am very conscious of not trying to appropriate Indigenous Art or culture. This image is made up, pieced together from various sites across Australia - there is no such place. I am expressing an idea about how the Australian Centre affected me even though I have no indigenous heritage that I know of. Ownership over culture is something I don’t know how to fit with - my family has been in this country for at least 4 generations, a blink in the scheme of Australian history. I feel a connection with the land but I’m still considered European even though I have never really experienced it.

I think this is why I identify myself as an artist so that I can be of the world instead of belonging to a country.