Man’s belonging to the land through an investigation of the textures found in the You Yangs.
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to elders past and present.
The You Yangs is a special place for the traditional custodians of our land providing many spiritual connections. I find myself drawn back to this place again and again, so on this occasion I am exploring my connection with the land here. The textures in nature and landscapes hold a particular interest for me as they draw parallels between nature and my paths through it.
Drawing on my previously presented works from the You Yangs, for example my microscope images of life on rocks that make up Bunjil, the giant Geoglyph that represents the giver of life, I extend my vision to other textures and other sites within the You Yangs. I also reference my recent personal work undertaken in the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) during a number of visits, which shares many formal aspects of the land with the You Yangs, including Bunjil’s cave near Stawell.
Two contemporary artists that have an influence on my work and vision are John Wolseley and Steve Parish. Wolseley is a mixed media artist who, over the course of his thirty-year career, has been discovering how we move and dwell within the landscape. His vision of textures within the land resonates with me. His interest is to paint the processes and energy field of the living system. My area of interest within this schema is to bring to life the slow evolution of the land by displaying and explaining the processes that are presented within rock and earth, including the living flora and fauna. On the one hand scientific and educational, on the other hand ambiguous and contemplative. Parish, a popular nature photographer for over 50 years has long been discovering our connection with the land through his work and has recently presented his AsOne Inspiring Nature Connection series of fine art prints from photographs inspired by our desire to be connected. He describes how the emotions we have at a given moment while in the land are what he is trying to impart in his series along with the spiritual wellbeing that results.
These works are titled Desire Paths to first reference my desire to move through the landscape to capture the scenes, but second to acknowledge the paths that the landscapes themselves take, the paths of least resistance; those to preserve their existence. My journeys through the landscape are an important part of my practice; the story of a journey can be presented in many ways and not just as a linear progression. Highlighting key images to describe the sense of connection, emotions and the things that draw one to a particular place and to return to that place are the key to this presentation. Displaying the formal elements of the land in a way that is personal to me.