Sunday, June 01, 2014


Birth of Worlds Oil on linen 93 x 102 cm
 Birth of Worlds is an open ended title. Why? Because, what kind of worlds are being born? Regular readers will know that I like a little ambiguity. I like it because there's less chance of didacticism and falling prey to fashion or presumption. It means the viewer can take a journey into their own imaginations.
So for me...worlds? These could be the birth of the Universe, even the Multiverse? Or, formation of planets and stars. Or, the birth of things only visible through a microscope...the microscopic world! Now here's a big idea about birth...maybe the painting exemplifies the birth of everything from the quantum to the cosmic? Maybe the dancing branches of the trees-of-life create quivers and quakes that explode in all directions, leaving a world the spawns itself?
Plus, we cannot forget the imaginational, emotional and psychological worlds!
The two trees-of-life represent the age-old transcultural/religious symbol. I like that the tree-of-life is understood across time, cultures and religions as a symbol of life. This is why I use it in my paintings. But, I do not portray it a traditional manner. In my paintings I attempt to release it from historical visual representations, to reveal its potency for 21st century meaningfulness. It is still a symbol of life, but one that reaches beyond Earth-bound horizons to Universal [if not Multiversal] perspectives of life. It is a cosmological tree-of-life!
The light yellow trees, or round sections of trees, could be stars, other Universes, cells, energy, portals...what do you think? I like the way they interrupt, at the same time as promising more.
And, to the theme of my forthcoming exhibition Untethering Landscape.
Birth of Worlds being about...well...worlds...obviously also references landscape! Regular readers will know of my desire to untether concepts of landscape from Earth-bound horizons. I think, in a cosmological age, it is imperative that we do. Myopic vision focused on the known environment, may mean we miss something 'out there'. One thing that has struck me, about the fascinating field of cosmology [the scientific study of the Universe] is that whilst Earth maybe our home, the Universe [and maybe the Multiverse] is our environment.
Modern cosmologists are akin to the explorers of old...the ones that took to the seas discovering new lands with their exotic animals and plants, and their fascinating inhabitants. Artists responded to these newly discoveries through illustration, sublime landscape, imaginative renderings and so on. Regarding my own country of Australia*, think of the early artists who settled/visited the colonies of the 1800s eg: here's a few John Glover, Augustus Earle, Conrad Martens As time went by, and people had more experience of the Australian land, light and heat, artists responded in different ways to the Australian landscape. And, needless to say the indigenous Australian Aboriginal traditions of integrating in so many ways with landscape have influenced how landscape and its rendering is perceived. Aboriginal identity is tightly wound with landscape, in their art and other traditions. I believe, how landscape in rendered and perceived affects all's just that some people realise it more than others.
So, if we are to identify with a cosmological environment, in a way that helps us understand and appreciate it without limitations of fear and ignorance, I propose that we need to rethink concepts of landscape...untether it from Earth-bound horizons...and fly!
So yes...Birth of Worlds is a landscape too! An ambiguous one I know...I like to think of it as an invitation to viewers to explore...imagine being a cosmic explorer!
* Fascinating Fact: In Prague, on my recent visit, I went along to the Clementinum with its Astronomical Tower and amazing  library. We were not allowed to go into the library, but we could stand at the door and gaze into the extraordinary interior. There were about 5-6 old globes positioned down the middle of the room. Each was rather large and exquisitely rendered. But, there was one which I wish I could have seen up much closer. It was a globe that did not have Australia and California was an island. Fascinating insight into humankind's understanding of its environment at the time.

 Me on top of Prague's wonderful Clementinum: Stunning view!
SEPT 2 - 14
Graydon Gallery
29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia, Earth, The Universe!

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