'Solitude' works on paper
Saturday 5th September - 22nd September 2009
Katoomba Fine Art
Katoomba put on a spectacularly beautiful spring day to host my first solo exhibition in the Blue Mountains. Geoff, Felicity and Nadia from Katoomba Fine Art did a wonderful job in making the afternoon a huge success. My job was easy in that I was able to chat with so many familiar faces and catch up with old friends who traveled from afar to help support me. Finally seeing the artwork in the gallery gave me a great sense of achievement after spending many hours alone in the studio with my podcasts as companions.
I am fortunate enough to live in the geographically beautiful landscape of the Blue Mountains. This landscape has an arresting quality, one that has been visually depicted by artists since the mid 1800’s. The diversity of vegetation is astounding. In the lower reaches of the Jamison Valley, one may be overwhelmed with the thick canopy of Turpentines, Sassafras, Coachwoods, Liana Vines and tall tree ferns. It is amongst this intimate setting that I find inspiration to use natural materials in order to express artistically: balance, structure, symmetry and beauty, and to contribute to the compendium of artistic expression of this region.
Solitude has always been a luxury I have embraced. It is the quiet friend who directs you to larger truths; it is the ghost of all those yesterdays, distilled into our unique perception and view of the world. In this silence, I choose to celebrate my connection with nature, mainly with materials collected from the natural environment and reconfigured into grids with textured papers as a support. These assemblages attempt to embody the stillness I sense in the natural world; the repetition and symmetry across the surface evoke and foster a peaceful dialogue between viewer and their own internal states.
“Solitude has always been a luxury I have embraced. It is the quiet friend who directs you to larger truths; it is the ghost of all those yesterdays, distilled into our unique perception and view of the world.” These assemblages attempt to embody the stillness of the natural world; the repetition and symmetry across the surface evoke and foster a peaceful discourse between the viewer and their own internal states.
There is a relationship between the collecting, sorting, cutting and arranging of found materials on the surface of the artwork and the internal processes, which seek to find some kind of equilibrium and tangible aesthetic. I seek to find a structural representation of simplicity, elegance and quietude. Symmetry is the vehicle by which I strive to attain this.
My regular solitary excursions into the landscape become a necessity for me in disentangling and disengaging from an ever-demanding world. It is a return to simplicity, a refinement of one’s senses and a return to feeling. It is in solitude that we assess and seek answers to the contradictions in our lives. From this place, I return to the studio and continue the dialogue.
With the growing awareness of global warming and climate change, any focus on the natural world and its fragility, beauty and importance is a valuable tool for re-establishing the general public with our natural world. We are bombarded with imagery of a negative bias from the media, which fills us with a sense of hopelessness and inadequacy in regards to how we may reverse the situation. This negative imagery places a larger gap between our perceptions and our actions. The scales have been tipped perilously close to disaster in favor of consumerism and industry for far too long and now we are witnessing a measured transition in attitude and policy to a more favorable and responsible way of living. Ecologically responsible art practices and artworks are becoming a positive way to reinforce our relationship to nature.