Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Landscape With A View Oil on linen 90 x 140 cm
There are a number of ways to interpret Landscape With A View and the idea of 'landscape with a view'.
The landscape, in Landscape With A View, has a literal view/s. It has a view of itself and one of the Universe with all its multiple perspectives...just like any real landscape. There's the inward gaze and the outward one, each revealing a plethora a views! But, maybe there's another landscape, from a nearby planet, that is 'viewing'?
There's another way to interpret 'view'. If we imagine Landscape having some kind of consciousness, maybe it has a 'view' of how it is used, changed, regenerated, destroyed, loved, depicted, valued, dissected, nationalised and more? James Lovelock's Gaia Theory suggests that the Earth is a sentient being capable of self-restoration and perhaps this sentience has a self reflective or referential element enabling it to transform as needed? But, the question I ask myself is...would Earth be the only planet with these abilities?
To go a bit further...if you imagine the Universe as the largest 'landscape' and that everything in it is comprised of elements created at the Big Bang, then we humans are 'landscape' as well. We are star dust too. But, are we the only conscious beings in the Universe? Indeed, if there are other conscious beings they will also be part of the large Universal landscape. Yet, until we have proof of their existence, it's our eyes only 'taking in the view'. However, with sight and experience we form opinions, make judgements, reflect and form viewpoints. By engendering a kind of anthropomorphism of Earth, and even other galactic entities, do we give them a kind of  'sight' and therefore possible viewpoints?
Landscape With A View
So to my painting Landscape With A View. There is no horizon line. Rather there is a kind of reflectivity of and within landscape, creating a sense of multiple landscapes. In fact, this painting relates to an earlier one I actually called Multiple Landscapes The idea of multiple landscapes suggests that each witnesses the other, acknowledging existence...ongoing. The viewer ie: you and me, is in relationship with the literal landscape and also depictions of it, like my painting. And, as part of the landscape...remember the star dust...we are both viewer and the viewed.
In Landscape With A View the eye is drawn by light into the image where the landscapes meet, slightly off- centre. Yet, whilst the reference to mountains, valleys and other landscape elements is evident, the placement of these forms against a dark and brooding Universal sky slices into the perspective, transforming the 'negative spaces' into 'landscape' as well. The vibrant colour is like a fissure in dark space, perhaps  a promise or a safe haven, yet maybe a dangerous lure.
Multiple Landscapes Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013
Untethering Landscape
So as regular readers will know...I am attempting to untether notions of landscape from Earth-bound horizons. The genre of landscape painting is as old as mankind. From early rock paintings, to traditional and contemporary depictions, landscape is a pervasive kind of visual anchoring for humanity. But, as modern cosmology is revealing more and more about the Universe I suggest we need to extend our concepts of landscape to orientate humanity with new kinds of anchors...cosmic ones! I am not a scientist and I am not interested in illustrating or providing 'artists' impressions' of newly discovered planets, energy forces or other phenomena. What I am interested in doing [or attempting] is to capture a kind of awe, to seek out symbolic meaning, connect the past and future, visually explore concepts of literal and metaphoric perspective, stir excitement, pose questions.
My painting, chosen as a finalist in the $20.000 Stanthorpe Art Prize, will be collected by the freighters on this coming Friday. The exhibition opening and prize announcement is Friday 28th February. Fingers crossed.  My painting is Super Earths Discovered
I am opening Korean born artist Sung Kyo Kim's first exhibition East Meets West: Chinese characters meet pop-art. The exhibition dates are 20 February - 2 March at Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia. Sung's paintings are informed by traditional Korean folkloric techniques which he uses to transform Chinese characters into pop-art visual good wishes.
Please check out Sung's website HERE

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