I am interested in the visceral closeness to the life cycle and more specifically, our experience of time and death in rural Australia that is largely absent in the urban world.
Country Life explores this subject in different locations and presents dark romantic oil paintings that investigate mortality through the imagery of rural Australia.
Cemeteries are reminders of mortality. Rural cemeteries are sweet, kitsch and especially quiet places. The dry grasses and long shadows strewn with wind-blown, coloured plastic flowers create an irresistible drama. The images of tagged, vulnerable livestock are an allegory and a similar reminder of their and our fate.
My paintings speak of the lifecycle that is enhanced in the shadows and the sky by the quintessentially Australian light. The materiality is also significant, both conceptually and for its painterly value. Using oil on board and tin, the surface of each painting is important, as it reflects the surface of the cement, metal barricades and the wooden fencing that surrounds livestock.
In the sky paintings the gaze shifts, the horizon is lowered and disappears as the eye line is raised upward, heavenward, whilst still keeping the viewer on terra firma. The tips of the trees, the powerlines and lights remind one that it is an earthly world and a mortal eye that looks and sees.
The drama of the skies is experienced by us all and occasionally contemplated. Sometimes the clouds press down and at others they lift and open. My paintings invite the audience to revisit moments that they may recognise.
Heavens Above continues to address the notion of contemplation, mortality, the temporal world and the moment we have in it.