Iconic Landscapes 2005-2009
Australian landscape oil paintings on canvas.
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'By the Sea' 2009 Oil on canvas 51 x 92 cm I used to live in this little seaside suburb called Williamstown in Australia. Every day large container ships would sail by- the eucalyptus trees creating a frame for them. On summery blue days they seemed rather cartoonlike because of the salty air and misty atmosphere of the sea. I wanted to capture this feeling of the incredible dazzling blue atmosphere. The light which warms the earth. The trees which reach to the stars and connect to the earth. And the blocky little container ships in the distance. That dark blue shape in between the trees is my idea of one of these ships. It's pretty abstract I know. In the end I wanted a simplicity, solidness and roughness like the quality of a ship's anchor in the painting.
'Earth Translucent' 2007 Oil on canvas 51 x 92 cm This painting's really about the resilience of the eucalyptus tree in the face of continuous drought. The creek bed at the bottom of the picture has dried up and the trees are kind of petrified but still with their rough kind of spiritual energy. It's based on drawings and photos of the Merri Creek near the CERES environmental park in Melbourne.
'Darebin Creek Tree' 2007 Oil on canvas 51 x 92 cm There are more than 700 varieties of eucalyptus tree and most are native to Australia. So they're everywhere you go. This tree was one I saw out walking one morning and the way its branches were silhouetted against the sky like it was on fire, dazzled me.
Creeks and their surrounding areas in Melbourne are the inspiration for this Iconic Landscape painting series. Trees in particular move me. I imagine them as a kind of connective tissue that binds and transforms all of nature's elements. They are the central axis around which everything else is aligned to, hence the emphasis on the vertical. The predominant vertical orientation in these paintings is also related to a desire to express the sacredness of the landscape. You’re forced to look upwards mainly- rather than into.
Other themes in these paintings are the duality of nature, the balance between the masculine and the feminine and the idea of the boundary which is constantly shifting, breaking down and re-forming.