My trip to the Pilbara area in Western Australia allowed me to experience the remoteness of this vast land. Spending days just in one dry riverbed alone became a vision quest and with it a freedom I had never experienced before. Painting on site, on the ground with no restrictions was completely liberating.
I was not sure how this painting would end up but what emerged for was the understanding that this land while seemingly uninhabited was teeming with life. I would not presume to have knowledge of this ancient land nor the Indigenous Culture inhabiting it for more than 30,000 years, but I felt and experienced something in the riverbed. I wanted to paint the earthy nature of the landscape but left myself open to what would come.
The technique using colour, texture, transparency and movement are metaphors for an experience not easily translated into words.
Technique – Colour, Texture and Movement:Laying the canvas on the ground seemed the best way to engage with the landscape, feeling the energy rising through my barefeet and up through the tip of my fingers. I had no agenda, just to observe and keep applying paint in splashes and strokes all the time engaging with what I thought I saw. Finally something emerged so unexpected and delightful.
This painting has very obvious dimensions, the underpainting is quite apparent contrasting with the thick over painting. The elements of wind, rain and sun are represented in the colours of the painting. Rich reds of the Pilbara earth, creamy yellow of the parched foliage, pale soft greens of the salt bush, bright ultramarine of the sky above and the pale green/blue of the horizon whichgoes on and on.