Road to Johnno's
This painting was first begun after a series of drawings made along the banks of the Blackwood River in 1993. It was reworked several times in ensuing year and finally sold as part of the solo show “Bending Backwards” in 1996...
Watch Your Back Sweets
I completed this image in 2005. I was really interested in depicting levels and inner workings, particularly with the marks made with charcoal to represent the shadow beneath the tree. I wanted to indicate the physicality of producing images and to make clear reference to the history of layers I use, but also balance that within a recognizable landscape...
South Western Australian Summer and Winter fires combine on a road returning to and revisiting friendship. The image harked back to some of the original formatting in “Ross’ Field” created, (just like the friendship), years earlier.
This is a kind of remix with new elements including the muddy dam and copse of trees and the twisted Eucalypt of the foreground.
On the reverse side amongst various texts includes the line “I love your Gravity” from the vastly clever Dave Graney song of the same name.
The Road Out
Some friendships are harder to keep than others.
[Relates as an image to Returning and Ross’ Field]
These childlike drawings of sun-bleached skulls are a playful allegory placed on an abstraction of the Australian desert landscape.
brute neighboursBrute Neighbours
This is a painting from in between times.
I took some work in my brothers’ market garden in Gingin, Western Australia.
You can see the lush melons and the watery treatment of flickering sprinklers. Across on the hill opposite you can see the bare fed out, (and up), hills resulting from overstocking, – hence the title...
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Whilst making images in the field it is a natural part of the process to be subjected to the elements.
It follows that some images will come to focus on those elements themselves, for example, how energy is being transmitted across time from one place to another as heat or dust or wind, and what this does to leave evidence, such as shaping clouds or tangling the perception in air.
The image of Belaranga is really about honouring a point of entry or gateway. The Belaranga hills acted as a kind of doorway off the coastal plain outwards on the journey into the somewhat drier central Wheatbelt country where I was borne and at first raised. A place to be passed through and definitely affected by.
Particular places strike me as having a special resonance that separates them from elsewhere, as if they desire you, or draw out your specific attentions. The first people might be able to elaborate.
This working image here is fairly early in the construction and clearly has elements of collage that I used to break into and disrupt any clever notions I might have had. From memory the final image did win some awards and so contributed towards the materials for further visual enquiries.
It seems to me that one of the core elements of Australian Landscape is the notion of 'disappearance'.
The country makes it abundantly clear that one may be literally swallowed up and hence the ego is blasted back by the power of this lands' enduring adamance...
Coming from a farming family It is common to view the landscape with some assessment of the indicators that are evidence for that land's capacity for production. In the case of this hillside in Wanneroo, at the North Western edge of Perth City, I was initially drawn to the rusty patchwork colours of the long tin shed in the market garden area of the foreground...
This painting was a huge visual breakthrough for me in terms of new mark making to represent ideas and ways of seeing things. Depicting wind and heat energy flowing across landscape and in the air between the eye of the viewer and that landscape was the intention. I got very excited as the image came together and those textures I was making began to speak back to me as I was 'in' that making...
Deleting information and overlaying is an integral part of my process. This image started as we see here only to end up as a cropped and simplified version, but never did find its’ intended owner.
Sadly, I eventually destroyed the final image, I am pretty sure it ended up as landfill somewhere around Melbourne, Australia.
The original image was 900mm wide x 1700mm high. On the reverse side there was the text “…patience – Someday I will love you.”
In retrospect the format and treatment proved important for later re-workings of the image from the drawn studies. I can also give that distant young man credit for some of the marks interpreting the landscape that informed later works too. The inspiration came from long hours of tractor work in Ross’s fields and the title refers to the idea of eventually returning to farm work as a relevant way of making ones’ living, despite the irresistible call of curiosity concerning the greater world