Islands and Rocks - 2012
Islands and rocks
10-28 April 2012
Catherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne VICTORIA
For a lovely blog review of my exhibition please visit; http://jumpingatshadows.wordpress.com/ April 2012
My work for this exhibition was initially inspired by a walk across a shallow sandbar to Penguin Island in Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia. The water on the sand bar came up to my thighs; on either side of me the sandbar gave way to sea-grass fields and the limestone reefs of the Bay. It was early in the morning, the safest time to walk the Bar, and it was magical to walk across the sea to the Island.
I began to consider three worlds, which meet around an island.
The first world is the Underwater realm where everything is liquid and tidal, where place is defined by being shallow or deep. The second world is the Earth, where inhabitants breath air, fly and feel the sun and wind. The third world is the Imaginary world of dreams, knowledge, memory, language and meaning. An island is a place where these three worlds meet. Islands also embody dualities: barrenness and fertility, wildness and sanctuary. They require a journey to visit and a journey requires imagination and engagement with both the sea and the island.
As in past exhibitions my work references the social and environmental history of water bodies, but my paintings also aim to suggest their sensory and poetic nature.
In this exhibition I have focused on the chain of small islands and rocks in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, starting from Cape Peron, named after François Péron, a French naturalist who was on the expedition of Nicolas Baudin along the western coast of Australia in 1801. Although my paintings may reference the shape of a certain island or rock I have been more interested to explore the symbolic nature of islands and the reefs to which they are attached.
WH Auden once remarked that As for islands, he found it cosier to think of them as lakes “turned inside out." (W.H. Auden, “Bucolics, IV. Lakes, V. Islands,” Selected Poems)
I am also attracted to Lakes, especially those found on mountains and the strange sense that they, too are islands in their own way. Perhaps its because both provide a stillness, a vantage point of from which to take stock of the self.