Thursday, September 17, 2015


Un-framing Landscape Crayon on paper [preliminary sketch]
As I mentioned in a previous recent post, I have returned to University study. I have embarked on an M. Phil [Research] at the University of Queensland. Happily, I can report that I am thoroughly enjoying being immersed in thinking and reading. I am also thrilled to be able to attend many of the fascinating talks and seminars that seem to happen every day at UQ. Yes, I am a bit of a geek...nerd...
Yesterday I attended an artists' talk, hosted by the University of Queensland Art Museum [UQAM], held in conjunction with a current exhibition Light Play: Ideas, Optics and Atmosphere , curated by Samantha Littley. The artists' talk included the curator as facilitator and artists Sam Cranstoun [multi-media artist] and photographers Carl Warner and Marian Drew. Dr. Margaret Wegener a lecturer in Physics at UQ was also part of the panel.
Many really interesting topics, relating to light and in reference to the artists' works, were discussed. However, my ears pricked up when there was a short discussion on how photographers and painters might frame a landscape. By frame, I mean compose or choose the image parameters with and wthin known elements. I cannot remember the details of the entire discussion, because my imagination went off into thoughts about how I un-frame landscape in my own work and how doing this unleashes it from earth-bound horizons.
When  I got back to my desk, after the artists' talk, I drew this sketch [above] Un-framing the Landscape. My plan is to sketch while I study and research. These sketches will lay the foundations for my next exhibition, which will probably be sometime in 2017.
As regular readers know, I think a lot about what landscape is, and means to us, in an age where cosmology traverses the close and far distances of the Universe, where astronomy seems to be regularly finding potential new Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, where exploratory spacecraft take photographs of planets and moons, where virtual worlds proliferate, where humankind's presence leaves debris in space...and so on.
It Beckons Gouache on paper 15 x 21 cm 2015
Birth of Worlds Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm 2014
Given that I consciously attempt to untether ideas of landscape from Earth-bound horizons - to take landscape into the cosmos - I suggest that my un-framing is about extending parameters beyond the known, beyond safe horizons. In other words, the known can no longer act as a frame. Yet, extension beyond Earth's horizons does not necessarily mean there is a re-frame - after all the Universe is a big space/place where the unknown surpasses the known.
In my cosmic landscapes I try to re-negotiate landscape in a way that entices the viewer to think about what is beyond the literal edges of my canvases - to wonder. I also try to stir perception by playing with perspective and orientation - a kind of flipping of familiarity.
It's Everything Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm 2015
Here are a couple of other posts where I discuss landscape:

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