Nov 4-26 2017 Plein-air
Nov 4 – 26 2017
(opening Fri Nov 3 6pm-8pm)
Mr Kitly gallery
381 Sydney Road
plɛn ˈɛː,French plɛn ɛʀ/
- designating, of, or in the manner of certain schools of French impressionist painting of the late 19th cent., engaged mainly in representing observed effects of outdoor light and atmosphere
- C19: from French phrase en plein air in the open (literally: full) air
Curated by Bree Claffey
This artwork was inspired by my memories of an extended trip last year with two friends to the Snowy Mountains. Very early in the morning of the second day a tremendous thunderstorm hit our campsite. The rivers and creeks rose and became too dangerous to cross so we spent the next two days and nights tent-bound by ferocious gales and cloudy, freezing conditions.
The drawings were made after I returned home and assembled as a book when they were finished. They are based on some quick field sketches, photographs and memory. They are, as all artworks are, a translation of experience, ideas and feelings. The completed artwork looks like a sketchbook but is really designed to represent one. It is a modest object made to contain depictions of monumental subjects, an artwork to be held rather than viewed at arms length and the record of something intimate that I have gleaned from something unmistakably immense.
Kosciuszko to Club Lake, November 2016
seven pencil drawings, hand-made artist’s book
14 x 58cm (open), 2017
The artist is represented by Gallerysmith
My practice involves the act of personally sourcing clay in specific locations. Throughout this process I spend time walking and observing land forms, before digging, sieving and taking clay through various stages of manipulation and drying. Most of this processing takes place outside.
Sourcing clay by hand speaks to a particular site and it’s layered history, and allows me to explore the processes of mining materials, and the environmental implications of larger scale industries. The mud bricks in this work are made of clay originally dug from the bottom of ‘Lake Guy’, a hydro-electric dam in Bogong Village in the Victorian Alps. The clay was dug and processed on-site, in Bogong, whilst undertaking an artist residency. Throughout this project I walked everyday, following the course of the rivers and roads into and out of the village. The painting, depicting one of the human-made escarpments of the village, was created once back in the studio. Bringing these two works together offer a direct and representational experience of this complex site.
Oil on board, mud bricks
55cm x 39cm
Place, environment and care underpin my practice, and painting acts as one of the simplest, potent ways to engage with these notions through open air landscape painting (en plein air).
Painting in the open is relevant and powerful because it is a unique way to dedicate time to learning place: the act of sitting and travelling the landscape with your gaze reveals so much about the way places operate and exist, whilst illuminating our own position in the landscape, dislodging anthropocentric mindsets and habituating constant appraisal and reflection of our agency in the 'scheme of things'. The colonial lineage of this gaze is real, which includes historical practices of utilising painting as a tool for surveying land that did not belong to invaders and a method to interpret the environment for Imperial gains ; folding open air painting into a contemporary practice demands deep consideration of what/how we paint and the slippery slope into sticky romanticising. Yet, I see incredible value in deploying this method for 'painting place' as a way to grow a deeper knowing of place, whilst subverting colonial tools of the past into a method for engendering an ethic of care and genuine connectedness to place.
The Ovens (Torryong) valley from the Warby (Bpangerang) Ranges I, 2017
Watercolour and mineral pigment on paper , framed
40.5cm x 32.5cm
The Ovens (Torryong) valley from the Warby (Bpangerang) Ranges II, 2017
Watercolour and mineral pigment on paper, framed
40.5cm x 32.5cm
This is Wurundjeri land and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging whilst acknowledging that sovereignty has never been ceded. These paintings were made on Bpangerang and Yorta Yorta land, thank you to Uncle Freddy Dowling for help with titling and language use.
My work is about process as much as anything. Painting 'en plein air' is liberating and enjoyable. I decide fairly quickly what i will paint. The dusty, cobwebbed, shoe stand sat behind the blooming hydrangea. I got to work quickly, with only a short amount of day light left. Looking at what the shadows offer fuels the process and helps the form.
Shoe Stand and Hydrangea, 2017
Acrylic on Board
45 x 35cm
Worm and Peppercorn Tree, 2017
32 x 20cm
15 x 10 x 17 cm
I work en plein air in the bush on my family's farm at Kalorama in the Dandenong Ranges (East of Melbourne). I attempt to viscerally convey what it is to be present in that glorious bush that I call home, what it is to be immersed in it and making sense of perceptions and internal emotional states as they arise. Lure of the edge, Kalorama emerged over a long period and melds two quite separate spots, one of which was on the dam wall that I walked over to head up into the bush.
Lure of the edge, Kalorama, 2015-2016
oil on linen
72cm x 233cm
The artist is represented by Australian Galleries
Footes beach out the back of San Remo is at the eastern side of the eastern mouth of Westernport Bay, where the bay meets the ocean. This work is a part of a series of plein air paintings done onsite in the beautiful wilds of Phillip Island and surrounds. It was painted on the beach looking south out to Bass Strait.
With the works in this series the bulk of a painting I do onsite and then sometimes I work on the paintings a little after in the studio, however this one was done all in the one sitting there on the beach. It was done straight after a body board surf at the surf break here, just to the right out of shot. A friend of mine who lives on Phillip Island and used to work on shark fishing boats said he doesn’t like surfing there because he thinks it’s a bit ‘sharky’, at least I think that’s what he said, and that they used to fish for them near there. I had thermos tea, apples, sunscreen and a hat and had changed out of my wetsuit into dry comfortable clothes, it was sunny but windy. The tea and apple tasted good after having been surfing. There were three other surfers but they kept to themselves. Often people who have come across us/me painting will approach for a chat, mostly people are inquisitive and encouraging and in a humanly sparse environment they seem pleased and flattered someone is recording the place and moment they themselves are sharing. It was a kilometer walk back to the carpark.
- Spring 2017
Cliff at Footes beach, 2017
oil on linen
Outdoor painting teachers me the importance of speed and looseness in my brush-work. This then informs my studio practice, where I can be a little more experimental with the subject matter. Although most of my exhibited paintings are studio creations, plein-air painting is definitely where I learnt everything that is important to me about painting.
Stone Rivulet, 2016
oil on linen
image: Mick Turner, Cliff at Footes beach, oil on linen, 61x76cm, 2017