My Subaru Forester was an excellent vehicle to take me wherever I wanted to go. It accommodated a library, held my swag and tent, vehicle maintenance box, my acrylic paints, loads of water, some food and wine and a big role of primed canvas that I would cut to size and roll up with fresh paintings in the one bundle.
Redbank Waterhole near Owen Springs Northern Territory 2014
‘I feel welcome here. Someone has left me a nice poker stick and firewood. I feel like an honoured guest at this place – which of course I am. No other humans. A resident Kite high in a neighbouring Red River Gum. Today I came across about 100 Red-tailed Black Cockatoos feeding heartily on some sort of grass 30mm high.’ All quotes come from my journey journal.
When setting out on the road from my home in Tasmania to Central Australia in April 2014, I had no idea that I would be on the road for 7 months. Alone with my trusty Subaru Forester, I allowed myself to wander and wonder. Not knowing exactly where I was going nor for how long. Australia is a remarkable land and provided me with many places to feel completely “at home”.
Here are some pictures I made along the way.
PAINTINGS FOR SALE
I will be showing these canvases in an exhibition with some drawings and my journal.
Please direct any interest in these paintings to Julie Perry or Lizzie Bourke at Gallery Because
7A Gregory Street, Sandy Bay, Tasmania. Phone 03 6224 4662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This exhibition of the work will open in Gallery Because on Thursday 12 March 2015
5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will continue to show each day until Saturday 11 April. Gallery Because is closed on Sundays.
‘The Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia is a sandy one. East west sandhills made by the sea coming in here thousands and millions of years ago, carving into the cap rock and with wind erosion has undercut the rock and the sandhills formed from that sediment. According to local knowledge, these are some of the oldest rocks on Earth.’
‘The end of July 2014 and I’m in the Pilbara of Western Australia. Yinjibarndi country and memories of former times spent here in the early 90ties are flooding back. I have set up camp on the edge of the road on a private property called Pyramid Hill cattle station. It is getting dark and I am too tired from stopping all day to look at the beauty of this iron and spinifex country. I will not make it to Millstream tonight.’ – Naomi Howard
Tuscany called me back to her in 2012. This time it was Piero della Francesca who I wished to spend time with. I did this by renting a 15C apartment in Arezzo just around the corner from the Church of San Francesco which houses ‘The Legend of the True Cross’ frescos by Piero della Francesca. For a whole week I visited those paintings and gleaned with my hungry Tasmanian eyes, to help with my own work. However, an Englishman, who had befriended me in 2011, was responsible for my being able to stay in Tuscany for any length of time. He invited me to live in my own apartment with painting studio on the mid-floor of his beautifully restored villa in the woods if I agreed to live there for a liminal period of time – say – 40 days and 40 nights. I did not resist his gracious offer and yes we lived through a memorable time together and will be friends for life.
Whilst there I was able to read and contemplate without interruption. James Joyces’ Ulysses for my first time and lots of poetry from my friend’s extensive library. These paintings are made up of images that presented themselves for me to deal with during my stay.
I made friends with many interesting people whilst I was an artist in residence and just before I left Tuscany, I invited them to view these paintings in the old cantina beneath my living quarters. My English friend had restored the cantina and made a gallery to show art works and he had even crafted six delicate easels to sit them on. It was an opportunity for a garden party and to say arriverdici to the friends I had made and to satisfy their curiosity about whatever I might be up to.
All these paintings grew out of making a journey to Tuscany in 2011 in order to study the paintings of Giotto. As can be seen, I was swept up and overpowered by contemporary Tuscany also. These paintings are my first under the influence of Early Renaissance master painters. On the 10 December 2014 only three of these paintings remain available for sale.