Lagoon, oil on canvas, 48″ x 96″, 2009
From the artist:
“I paint an experience of place. The visual, visceral and physical relationships I see and feel become rhythms of light. As a landscape painter, I work directly from the motif to evoke an elemental, bodily sense of place structured by the dynamic geological and perceptual forces I see at work around me. The material itself has its own geology and response to touch. I like the way paint turns from liquid to stone as it dries.
My work investigates what it means to be part of a place, to locate myself inside my environment where masses of land, air and water rise and sink, push forward and recede, open and bend towards or away from each other. The ideas of disconnection and distancing from our environments continues to lead to the environmental disasters we are seeing across the world today and in this sense, as a landscape painter, I see my work as a form of activism. When I choose a motif to work from there is a kind of jolt on the nerves where the whole presence of a place is felt. I want to evoke that primary sense of confrontation and connection.
At times, I work from memory as a way of distilling my experiences. What I want to get hold of is that slow unfolding as an image opens up and allows for a space of contemplation. In that space sensations and memories merge, connections and meanings are revealed. It is where the fragile and sometimes disturbing become actual and tangible and conjure a spirit of place.”