Thursday, May 3, 2012

The land at the End of the Weather Report: Chatham Island Paintings

Ohira Bay 2 oil on canvas 300x600mm 2011

Ohira Bay oil on canvas 300x600mm 2011

Basalt Meets Schist 500x1000 oil on plywood 2011

Volcanic Cones Chatham Islands1 300x900oil on canvas 2010

Volcanic Cones From Maunganui oil on linen 600 x 900 mm 2011

Volcanic Cones 5 oil on linen  600 mm x 900 mm 2011

Chatham Islands Sea Mounts 3 Views 600 mm x1200 mm oil & mixed media on board 2010

Outcrop at Maunganui 260 x 370 mm. Monoprint 2010

Basalt Columns (detail) Monoprint 2010

                                                      Basalt Columns vignettes  (detail)

Basalt Columns Vignettes 210 x 600 mm oil & mixed media 2011

Basalt Columns 400 x1200 mm oil on board 2010

Ohira Bay 3  400 x 1200 mm oil on plywood 2010

 Basalt Columns 5  400 x1200 mm oil & mixed media on board 2010

Volcanic Earth 1  210 x 300 mm oil & mixed media on canvas 2011

 Volcanic Earth 2  210 x 300 mm oil & mixed media on canvas 2011

Volcanic Earth 3  210 x 300 mm oil & mixed media on canvas 2011

                               Volcanic Earth 4   210 x 300 mm oil & mixed media on canvas 2011

                                                                   Skeleton Trees (detail)

Skeleton Trees 210 x1000 mm oil on plywood 2011

Some of these works were exhibited at Pataka Porirua in 2010 as part of the Fine Spells exhibition and Outcrop at Maunganui was exhibited in a group show at Solander Gallery also in 2010

Artist’s statement

 Experiencing the stark and minimal forms of the Antarctic environment has had a profound influence upon my work. I bring this fascination with geological processes and landforms to my Chatham Island experience. This series of paintings focuses upon 2 iconic Chatham Island landmarks.

The small volcanic cones once submerged now rise out of a sea of purple brown scrubland to meet an expanse of cloud and sky, a landscape of space and light.  Patterns of light and shade illuminate the land as cloud is blown across the sky. The basalt columns lining the coast at Ohira are a stark contrast to this. These pentagonal columns, uncanny in their resemblance to man made structures, rise above the sea formed by the slow cooling lava of ancient volcanic eruptions, the darkness of stone evoking subterranean origins. A southerly wind whips up white foam on the swells rolling in to crash against rock, white on black, horizontal against vertical. One place reflects light and colour the other absorbs it intensifying the contrast between light and dark

The visit was of short duration but this intensified the experience and has forced me to focus upon the essentials, filtered by time and memory. My intention is to express what I felt as well as what I saw. The push and drag of brush stroke, the substance of paint and texture, the movement of the hand recreating the movement of wind & water, the pattern of rock forms, is the day to day biography of creating a painting. The internal and external landscape meeting in these images of the islands at the end of the weather report.