Passage: a journey by sea or air; a privilege of conveyance as a passenger
European history records Abel Tasman’s expedition of 1642, seeking the Great South Land. From that point in time, how many men, women and children have had passage along Tasmania’s coast; seen the granite, the sandstone and the dolerite columns from the sea, looking in. How many convicts, settlers, officers, merchants and now tourists have gazed upon the painted rocks, the luscious turquoise water and pristine white sand of land’s edge. How welcome was landfall…
(A tribute to the many ‘passengers’ who have sought to find a home in Australia)
I paint what I love. It may resonate, it may have references to things, but essentially what I paint reflects what I respond to. In this case mostly the south-west of Tasmania although I have also included two images of the much younger dolerite of Ben Lomond in the north-east of Tasmania.
The south-west is a place unknown by most Australians, probably most Tasmanians. It is wild, wonderful, inspirational. It is itself. A strange and beautiful geology of Precambrian and Cambrian quartz etched by glaciation and shaped by uplift. Of fault lines that are overdue for a shift. Of veins in schist. Of a myriad colours that change with the ever-changing weather of the south-west. It is home to buttongrass plains. To emerald green cushion plants and myrtle forests that glow coppery-red in spring. And a proliferation of wildflowers that in late spring and early summer can blossom, sometimes, like a well-planned cottage garden.
This landscape is a refuge from a high-tech world. It re-affirms the order of things. A natural order. And one that sublimates.
The last two to three years have been spent building (with my own hands in many respects) a new house and studio. Painting has been a memory, a lost love, a craving. But not able to be realised until quite late in the year. So it is a meagre offering. A finally finished tribute to the Derwent River, and some new work from a trip to the Tasman Peninsula whose rocky shores provide such a diverse palette. Now it is 2013 and I hope to capture more of that trip, from the sea looking in.
All of these works (most are small) have used some form of print technique. Most incorporate monotype or collagraph. Both methods are wonderful for experimentation. The final printed image is then painted or coloured using paint or pastel, or played with using pen and ink. So, by definition, they are neither paintings nor prints. Does it matter?
If you are addicted to texture like me, these techniques give you a chance to see some wonderful textures which can then be transformed into larger scale paintings.
These works are essentially paintings – depending on how you want to define that. They use paint. Generally acrylic, but sometimes watercolour. Sometimes there is a substrate of acrylic media. Sometimes there is collage. Sometimes I use ink or pastel. But I regard them as paintings. There is no printing media or process involved.
There is another Gallery that has works where print media and processes are used.