First Light 2017
Stillwater Gallery, Launceston 2017
This new body of work began as an attempt to bring more colour and vitality to my paintings.
I thought 'What better way to do this than to study the sunrise over the Tasman Sea?!'
Lots of early morning trips up Mt Wellington, down to South Arm and out to the Tasman Peninsula ensued. I made plein air paintings on plywood panels, took many of photos as the sun rose and made detailed notes on the changing light and colours. Back home I painted quick studies, and then progressed to some large scale studio paintings, both from reference material and from memory.
My primary concern has been to bring a freshness to my work rather than to render a specific scene. As well as making a study of colour, I have also focused on the physical application of paint to canvas, and have attempted to bring a visceral quality to the works.
Growing up in Melbourne, part way through high school, myself and my fellow classmates were fortunate enough to get a new art teacher, who broadened our horizons away from Tom Roberts and Fredrick McCubbin and towards Rosalie Gascoigne and Imants Tillers. She forbid the lot of us from painting corny sunrises over the water. In my mind sunrises became a taboo subject. A romantic cliché, overdone and with no relevance to contemporary art.
But now, living in Hobart, surrounded by water, I can't help but be drawn to, and mesmerised by the subtle changes in light and colour as the sky gradually lightens and the sea emerges from the darkness.