This is a symbolic representation of the mood of the tidal flats along the Dampier Peninsula. Each day the sea recedes to reveal vast expanses of land.
Depending on the proximity of the moon, King tidal changes can affect up to twelve metres and different kind of life is revealed.
There is also a special feeling of transience as it is necessary to be gone before the tides rush back.
It's like the Earth is breathing...
(Notes from visual diary)
‘Camouflage’ and ‘white birds’ written directly onto canvas.
Fisher type bird rides rising stick tree in foreground over tan coloured water over tree and brush coloured banks...
Driving out along the isolated East coast of the Dampier Peninsula near Derby a dingo suddenly crossed in front of us with a glare that said, “Who are you to cross this sacred country?”...
We were early morning fishing out on the bay off Bendalong, south of Sydney, Australia.
I had only the back-side of a folded out biscuit box to capture these three views back toward land and the Army Caribou cargo plane circling overhead.
Some emotions are so rare that you only get to feel them once in a lifetime.
On the way out I was thinking about my seafaring Grandfather so strongly that it was like a visitation…and trying not to be sea-sick.
Not making excuses
No Man Is An Island
This is one of a series of works depicting islands.
The title is an idiom,which refers to the idea that a solitary person never succeeds without the support of others.
The subject is the deserted Indonesian island of ‘Pulau Dana’ – a perfect place where the ‘author’ rested on his journey across the seas to Korea.
I became fascinated by this isolated piece of coast on the inner side of the Dampier Peninsula, where one must respectfully seek permission from Elders before entering.
I made several drawings at the site to try to look more closely at the inner life of that country. I found the colours of the rock line contained wonderful variations and the mangroves at the soak mouth to be an extraordinary green. Even the shape of the rocks and the lapping of the tidally pulsed water slowly communicated something very lovely.
In this version I favoured the aqua marks made in the sky above that scarp and the dressing of naturally drawn lines in the sandy area of the foreground.
The title Pigface refers to a plant from the genus Carpobrotus, which is a medicinal “bush tucker” plant commonly found on the dunes. You can see the abstracted greyish blue lines in the foreground where its’ form has been simplified to a mere suggestion.
My adopted uncle is a guy named Vince. He is a ‘black fella’ from the Bardi tribe in the Kimberley Region. While I was there he became a guardian...
Rocky Island Colour Study
(Far North Queensland-Portland Roads, Coral Sea/Cape York Penninsula)
A series of meanings or visual clues are placed together. These present as marks, techniques, approaches or ways of doing things...
This smaller study of a Shorescape most particularly deals with the rapid exchanges of Energy commonly encountered in that environment, especially when the day is windy...
Deleting information and overlaying has always been an integral part of my process. This image started as the beach scene we see here, only to end up a desert landscape of the inland salt lakes near where I was born.
Sadly, I destroyed the final image.
This Sketch is a study before and after the larger work “Recovery”. It is an experiment with a range of newer marks I had been working on, most evidently the balanced used of a dryer loaded brush and stretched pigment to reproduce a textural quality within the landscapes I was observing. This is most evident here in the red areas. There's also a loose quality about the application of the paint overall that is more difficult to achieve than it may appear...
How To Be Invisible
This image refers back toward the land and townships of Bendelong and Manyana, South of Sydney, in Australia.
I made drawings from the boat of the sight lines to the landmarks we were using as local knowledge to locate good fishing grounds...
This is one of the ‘out-takes’ from the painting called Rivermouth.
There is a depiction of a world looking out toward the ocean. Closer inspection also reveals the bottom left of the work ending to expose a hand patting a small dog. [The fox terrier ‘Chloe’], so we see that there is more going on than simple representation...
Looking For Shifty
I made this smaller study out on the tidal flats of the Buccaneer Archipelago, North of Broome.
I wanted to create a sense of distance and fluidity in a wider format.
If you’ve come this far, here is an example of writing taken from my notes at the time, given that I see writing and painting as exactly the same thing.
From – Come and find me (last stanza) [Funeral Notes]
I’ve left this map out for you to follow
…so you can take me there,
…take the means from my old valise,
and scatter me in the air.
During a very lucky turn I was able to Sail from Cape York Pennisula in Queensland, Australia, upwards through the Great Barrier reef and then Westwards to Thursday Island, Java, and Indonesia. Later I sailed still onwards to Timor before going up through the Malacca Straits as far as Thailand. In all I spent more than three months on the open ocean aboard the Research Vessel Heraclitus...