I have been hibernating under a paintbrush this winter and produced some larger pieces. Here are a couple…
Jane Franklin’s Palanquin
In the early 1840’s, Sir John and Lady Jane Franklin trekked overland to Macquarie Harbour via Lake St Clair and the Frenchman’s Cap region. Their route followed James Calder’s track, which was cut through a virtually unexplored area. The intrepid eminent couple wanted to see the western areas for themselves. Accompanying them was Calder and a team of a dozen convicts plus aides and soldiers. For about thirty of the fifty miles between the last cart track and the Gordon River, Jane Franklin was carried on a palanquin, which now resides in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
The painting depicts the shore of Lake Vera, through rainforest and tea-tree scrub at the foot of the Frenchmans’ Cap massif. The Franklin’s route skirted the base of the mountain, through forest and across boggy buttongrass plains.
I wanted to bring together elements of the sublime aswell as the everpresent scrubby reality of the SouthWest terrain. The inclusion of the palanquin was intended to show the burdensome anachronism of civility laid down at the lakes’ edge, peering through an open portal to a new world beyond.
Florentine Valley – Installation Art
Aerial photos of the Upper Florentine Valley’s old-growth forests have held a particular interest for me. The region has a composition all its own, the nearby ‘Thumbs’ form an impressive backdrop. I wanted to represent a sense of depth downwards as well as to the horizon. Towering trees reaching up assume sculptural forms; impressive en masse. I sought to demonstrate that these forests, when viewed from above, reveal complex communities of understorey. The forestry coupe visible in Tasmania’s outline was not meant to be a prescriptive environmental commentary, rather an ambiguous space in which we can consider this landscape.