Saturday, December 01, 2012


  When It Rained On Mars? Oil on linen 85 x 150 cm
My new painting When It Rained On Mars? is a fanciful one! However, it is based on a proposition that billions of years ago Mars may have had the kind of atmosphere and temperature range that allowed for rain. This proposition was also mentioned in a fascinating presentation Saturday Night 'Live' which I recently attended at the Thomas Brisbane Planetarium 
Scientists base the proposition on various elements including geographical formations and geochemical analysis of Martian soils. However, the question whether rain fell or not, is still in the realms of the 'what if?' Here's a small selection of some interesting articles which discuss questions about water, rain and Mars. I'll leave it to you to do more research. There's a lot out there.

'WHEN IT RAINED ON MARS?' Oil on linen 85 x 150 cm

Now to my painting. Yes, it is a landscape! But, not an Earth bound one! The predominant redness is simply because Mars is called  the 'Red Planet' due to its reddish appearance in the night sky. The ancient Egyptians called it Har decher, which means 'Red One'. Even the name Mars [God of War] references the colour as one symbolic of strength, battles, blood, violence. But, apparently the colour is due to a thin dusty layer of iron oxide rust. Check out Why Mars is Called The Red Planet by John Carl Villanueva in Universe Today for  more information and further links.   
I've used my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life to create the multi layered land formation and to indicate the universal and celestial connections that 'speak' of all life across the vast distances of time and space.
Strips of colourful 'rain' fall from the vibrantly red sky. I've painted these strips in varying colours because who knows what rain on Mars looked like! Who knows what affects light reflecting off water droplets falling through rusty red dust might look like! Who knows? But, it is great to imagine!
I've painted the strips of rain like I have painted strips of rain in my more obviously Earth bound landscapes. Why? Well, I grew up on a flat treeless plain outside Dalby, on the fertile Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia. I then spent 18 years living further west in a place called Goondiwindi. I've spent many hours driving west, into the vast Australian landscape, witnessing the fall of rain as strips on distant horizons. I now live in the city, but strips of rain on the horizon stir my memories! Memories of hope and fear. Below are a couple of my Earth bound landscapes depicting strips of rain.
Given global issues regarding to water, fresh water, I believe the notion of water on Mars, or anywhere else for that matter, strikes our imaginations making us feel less alone. Earth and the human body are %70 water. Yes, we are mostly water! There must be some kind of attraction, pull, urge, lure, magnetism between us and water, even hypothetical water! Our imaginations, or is it our will to survive, draws us towards water..the sustenance of life. Water equates with hope, which is the suggestion in the painting Hope In The Distance below. Issues of water also engender fear...fear of not having enough, fear of contamination, fear of dying.
 Hope In The Distance Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2010 SOLD
$oils Ain't $oils Anymore! Oil on linen 70 x 100 cm 2010 
My next solo exhibition
Dates: Wednesday 30 January - Saturday 17 February
Opening Function: Saturday 9 February 2-4 pm: I will be there!
Address: 1st Floor 170 Abbotsford St, Nth Melbourne.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11am - 5pm
PH: 03 9329 1860
Purgatory Artspace is the project space attached to Gallery Smith.

1 comment:

Audubon Ron said...

Love the new painting.