Paintings and miniature works on paper
Gazing into ponds is an immensely pleasurable and Romantic thing to do. It has been the subject of many poetic and artistic pursuits over the centuries – the historical figures of Claude Monet, Gaston Bachelard and Henry David Thoreau immediately come to mind. Water allows a private space of reverie reflecting both the physical environment; the fluctuating colours, light and sounds of life from the surrounding landscape, as well as psychological and emotional states of being. As Bachelard says in Water and Dreams,
“one drop of powerful water suffices to create a world and dissolve a night”, he suggests the notion of the pond is like an eye that reflects the world, as well as being a site of dormant power. It’s because of water that life exists. It gives life to this planet and yet in our climate stressed environment, the presence of water in the landscape is increasingly transient, rare and precious.
This exhibition features paintings and miniature works on paper based on close observations and experiences of wetlands in Tasmania and waterholes in Central Australia.
I aim to celebrate and pay homage to the fragility and fleeting nature of life sustained by these small unassuming bodies of water - the constantly shifting light patterns, the melancholy darkness and the movement of wind imprinting on the surface. I have also tried to capture the soundtrack of place, the rhythmic pulsing of frog calls, the rustle of wind and the invisible presence of creatures beneath the surface. At times the paintings are quite abstract with intricately woven areas of layered tiny brush marks combined with glimpses of slender horizons. They are in part about the dark, enigmatic mysteriousness of the water but they are also intended to be a contemplation of edges and the threshold between the visible and invisible, where water and land or water and air meet.
In these paintings I hope to draw the viewer into an intimate, private and poetic contemplation of the surface and threshold space of water.