The Shape of the Wind, 2010 - 2017

My paintings during this period were inspired by my experiences during residencies on several wild and remote islands in the Southern Ocean including Macquarie Island, Maatsuyker Island and Tasman island.  I was lucky enough to visit Macquarie island on the return journey from Antarctica in 2004 when I spent a week walking the length of the island. In 2006 I received an Arts Tasmania grant to spend 2 months on Maatsuyker Island and then a few years later I organised another residency on Tasman Island. Maatsuyker and Tasman Islands are very windy, cliff walled, uninhabited, isolated, little islands off the southern coast of Tasmania and accessible only by helicopter. It is the wildness, extreme weather and unique light that attracts me to these places. It is also where the vast ocean creates its own special theatre for clouds.

During my time on Maatsuyker island I painted en plein air a series of cloud studies, 2 for every day that I was there. I felt compelled by the challenge of observational and descriptive painting trying to record the rapid changes in the weather and the subtlety of the patterns of light and cloud. I was driven by the thrill of painting plein air as the wind threatened to steal the painting or the palette from me and at times it was a struggle to hold onto the thick stubby brush. It was like painting in a fury of survival. The weather painted itself onto my pieces of paper as I tried to paint the weather. At times it was incredibly still and quiet and I could see so many fine layers of light and shadow in thin stripes at the horizon. The cloud paintings started as studies from observations of light on cloud and sea, but collectively they have become a map of the sky, charting the temporal space of an island.

This experience of being on Maatsuyker island inspired me to do a residency on Tasman Island. I have visited Tasman Island several times as a volunteer for the Parks and Wildlife Service and at the end of 2011 a friend and I conspired to spend some time there on a painting trip. We chose November because we knew it would be seriously windy, and it was. The island shook itself madly like a wet animal for what seemed like weeks then stopped for ten minutes then shook itself for several more weeks only from the other direction. My poor little tent barely coped and at night the sound of the wind resembled something more like being camped on the tarmac at Tullamarine airport. But it was exhilarating. I loved looking over my shoulder to be suddenly startled by a monster dark cloud looming up over the cliffs about to drench me, and finding protection under the low canopy of the elephant trunked banksias to watch the squalls pass. Then another squall would be looming up from Cape Raul to the South, 5 minutes till it hit. I often tucked myself into the long grasses, the Poas and watched the world from within the grass - flapping about madly over my head and the ocean beyond whipping itself into a frothing foaming frenzied mass of white. At night in my tent, I lay there wide-awake while the wind flattened the tent around me every few seconds and I listened to the sounds. I thought how each gust was like a knot followed by the tiniest second of stillness only barely perceptible as it receded before another knot hit.

What was interesting in my inquiry into the aesthetics of wind and weather was to consider how we experience it is largely through how the wind imprints onto the landscape or on our own bodies - it seems so obvious that wind is an invisible thing, but what spatial form does it take? How do you give shape and form or visual expression to it? How do you notate the wind and weather - how do you write it?

My experience of both Maatsuyker and Tasman Islands led me to create a series of paintings that explored the patterning and rhythms of the natural elements through a complex tangled linear structure that was suggestive of grasses, sound, text, inscriptions of weather, hair, nests, or habitats.

Paintings from the series were exhibited in the following solo exhibitions:

Nest, Beaver Galleries, Canberra, 2014

Writing the Sky, Bett Gallery, Hobart, 2014

Cloud Memory, Gallerysmith, Melbourne, 2013

Windwalking, Bett Gallery, Hobart, 2010

Glimpse, Gallerysmith, Melbourne, 2011

Still Light, Beaver Galleries, 2010

The Shape of the Wind, Bett Gallery, Hobart, 2010

 

A selection of highlights from the series is included here.

For the full collection please click on the exhibition title for a link to the gallery website.

 


8208_2020811305lovegrove_536weblr
No 536, 2014. from the series Nest
140cm (W) x 100cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8208_20208112641lovegrove_530weblr
No 530, 2014, from the series Nest
60cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8208_2020954440lovegrove_531_72
No 531, 2014, from the series Nest.
60cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8208_2020954641lovegrove_533_72
No 533, 2014, from the series Nest
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8208_2020962056lovegrove_529_72
No 529, 2014, from the series Nest
60cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8208_2020954147lovegrove_528_72
No 528, 2014, from the series Nest
60cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8208_20208112832lovegrove_526weblr
No 526, 2014, from the series Nest
140cm (W) x 100cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020963317lovegrove_521_72
No 521, 2013, from the series Cloud Memory
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_202096320lovegrove_520_72
No 520, 2013, from the series Cloud Memory,
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020963027Lovegrove_519_2013_72
No 519, 2013, from the series Cloud Memory
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020962354lovegrove_518_72
No 518, 2013, from the series Cloud Memory
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_202096293lovegrove_517_2013_72
No 517, 2012, from the series Windwalking,
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020962743lovegrove_516_2013_72
No 516, 2012, from the series Windwalking
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8207_202096659Lovegrove_515_72
No 515, 2012, from the series, Windwalking.
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020962536lovegrove_512_72
No 512, 2012, from the series Windwalking.
60cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020962229lovegrove_511_72
No 511, 2012, from the series Windwalking
60cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8207_202096537lovegrove_510_72
No 510, 2012, from the series, Windwalking
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8207_20209645lovegrove_509_72
No 509, 2012, from the series, Windwalking
130cm (W) x 90cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020961554Lovegrove_495_2011_72
No 495, 2011, from the series Windwalking.
180cm (W) x 130cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on canvas
8207_202096246lovegrove_486_72
No 486, 2010, from the series,The Shape of the Wind.
130cm (W) x 90cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8207_202096118Lovegrove_484_2010_72
No 484, 2010, from the series, The Shape of the Wind,
130cm (W) x 90cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020962051lovegrove_503_72
No 503, 2011, from the series Windwalking
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
Lovegrove_502_2012_AS
No 502, 2012, from the series Windwalking
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8217_2020961755lovegrove_500_72
No 500, 2011, from the series Windwalking
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen
8207_2020965955Lovegrove_483_2010_72
No 483, 2010, from the series The Shape of the Wind
130cm (W) x 90cm (H)
Acrylic and gouache on linen


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