Friday, September 29, 2006
I painted this gouache on paper image a few years ago. It was part of a larger group devoted to the 'bride in the landscape' theme. This painting called 'Love Puzzle' appropriates Titian's 'Sacred and Profane Love', a sixteenth century bridal/wedding portrait...unusual for the time, because the groom is absent. Venus, the Goddess of love, is present, but the bride's gaze is dreamy as if she is looking into the future. The figures [Titian also portrayed a distracted cupid] are placed in a pastorale scene, hence 'bride in the landscape'.
Many of the women in my family, including me, were literally young brides in the landscape. Country weddings and then back to the farm...so to speak. I know that women leave their spirits in the land and in the small communities they help build and maintain, often in times of severe hardship. Remote living is lonely and the need to conform to country life expectations can consume identities. Men mark the land physcially with fences, roads, ploughed fields, irrigation channels etc. Whilst the women work with the men in partnership, they also leave something else which marks the land with their spirits and energy...and sacrifice...and love.
Love is a puzzle....
Saturday, September 23, 2006
This painting is called 'When I Was A Child I Dreamt I Could Fly'. Well, I did dream this when I was kid...often. In fact, without ever having been in an aeroplane above my parent's farm, I knew what the farmhouse and outbuildings looked liked from above. As adults we tend to lose this kind of wonderment...I am dreaming it back! I thought about this painting today because my three children have gone to visit their Dad for part of the school holidays...out to the country. These young people need to know they can 'fly'. But, their dreams and imaginings seem to be only possible after school, homework etc etc have been finished. I love to see them playing pretend games because I can see they really believe anything is possible after these exhiliarating interludes. Their bodies bounce, their eyes dance and they talk... and talk. Homework does not have the same effect! That's why I love school holidays...the children become children again. I exhibited this painting in Abu Dhabi and I loved to see peoples reactions to it. They would stop and read the title and then I'd see their eyes [the women behind their veils] smile. Often they would turn to me and give me a broad grin...this then lead to wonderful conversations.
When I Was A Child I Dreamt I Could Fly Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
Monday, September 18, 2006
We all share history which is 'time'. History is open to interpretation so it really is about how time is perceived. I am fascinated by the effect the tree of life gives as it appears simultaneously as a tree, brain, watersystem, cracked earth, lymph system and many more system-like things. Possibility is abundant and it is all there for our enjoyment. As each moment passes we have an affect on time. Mind blowing really.
This painting will be exhibited in my next solo exhibition 'Pulse' which opens Friday 13 at Doggett Street Studio Gallery, 85 Doggett Street, Brisbane. 61 7 32529292 email@example.com
"Shared Time" oil on linen 120 x 137 cm
Sunday, September 10, 2006
This is a photo of me in front of a new painting called "In Unison". This painting will be shown in my forthcoming solo exhibition 'Pulse' at Doggett Street Studio, Newstead, Brisbane opening Friday 13 October.
"In Unison" speaks about the universal heartbeat of time and history. At a truly fundamental level we are reminded of life by the beating of our hearts and the rhythmic pace of our breath. No matter where we come from, what religion we have faith in, what type of political structure we espouse at a fundamental level we all share the same reminders of life. ..those elements of life that have a pattern and rhythm.
"In Unison" oil on linen 90 x 200 cm [photograph by Nikki Shrimpton]
Thursday, September 07, 2006
'Prosperity' has brought me success with a win in the Warwick Art Award Works on Paper Prize. This painting is a gouache on watercolour paper and is sized unframed at 30 x 42 cm. The title speaks for itself but the painting is more than what you initially see. The layered colours and lines take the viewer's eye into deeper places where properity of spirit is felt. The interweaving of the amorphous shapes speaks about connectivity variously between individual people and groups of people sharing history, time and the earth. Like many of my paintings this can be seen as a landscape...an aerial landscape taken from a distant perspective. As a metaphor for looking at life this concept of distant perspective is important to me.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I use landscape elements as metaphors for the human condition. Mountains represent overcoming adversity to find strength, opportunity and abundance. This painting is currently hanging in the Directorate at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre [QPAC] Brisbane. It and 11 other works will be there until 25th November.