The exhibition is open from April 27 to May 14, 2017 at the Incinerator Art Space, 2 Small Street, Willoughby.
My current exhibition, Shadow Country, explores the contradiction of Australia’s landscapes, the beauty and strength of our wilderness areas surviving in our harsh environment, but their fragility in the path of human encroachment.
When I was a child I used to walk through the bush with my brother exploring – catching eels in the streams, building tree houses or making magic places to play in. Since then I’ve always loved wild places. But today our wilderness is under threat like never before. There has always been development, but today unsustainable development such as land clearing on a mass scale, mining and deforestation threatens these wild spaces and the plants and animals that live there. You would think that with the increase in scale of these developments, and the ensuing global warming, that people would start to object strongly and that governments would listen, that they would drive sustainable development and renewable energy. But nothing seems to happen. It’s hard to be aware of the effects of these activities because its not happening in our backyard or in our urban environment of the North Shore or in any of our big cities, but it is happening in many of the places I visit to paint my pictures. In my own way, with my paintings I remind people of the beauty of our wild places and I hope that people will want to see them preserved.
I’m interested in the atmosphere and feeling of being in a particular place. Therefore light, and subsequently shadow, play a strong role in my work whether its the red gold light just touching the rocky ridge at the end of the day, or a soft dawn rising on shadowed grasslands. There is beauty in the isolated arid spaces of Fowlers’ Gap in Central Australia where rich red and gold rocks and earth are a stark contrast against the impossibly blue skies. There is a soft beauty in the forests of Hill End where the bluegums grow out of the bare forest floor after the fires.
This current exhibition draws from recent travels in what I think of as Australia’s shadow countries as the shadows on the landscape become a metaphor for a shadow over the future.
Ten percent of the sale of works from the exhibition will be donated to The Wilderness Society. All works are in oil on canvas.
‘10% from the sale will be donated to The Wilderness Society’
‘Willoughby Council is gratefully acknowledged for the provision of Incinerator Art Space’