Art, Identity & Place

How wild places, deep time and archaeology inform my contemporary art process

Karijini National Park

The strong sunlight and heat drenched arid landscape above the gorges was a complete contrast to the flora and lush environment within the gorges. This first general impression left me with a mental image of many light and feathery textures; the soft blue-purple distant ranges with light grey-brown dotted lines indicating foliage or closer ranges sometimes light khaki in colour with rusty rocky ridges. A mixture of middle distance greens ranged from dotted pale olive and sage with dull Naples yellow background followed by foreground yellow and sage spinifex growing from red-purple soil. This image contrasted with the heavy muscular rock forms with strong vibrant coloured surfaces; red iron dark and shiny veins of iron ore as well as asbestos. Rich, lush greens of the vegetation varied from ferns to fig tree roots which like the Snappy gums appeared to hold together parts of the side of the gorge. Large boulders were strewn onto the gorge floor.                                      View from Mt. Bruce

The image above was taken from Mt. Bruce a short distance from the gorges. In the gorges I selected particular  reflections and vegetation as a point of contrast  because they had a ‘Monet garden’ look about them without the horizon.

' Monet's garden 1'  in Dales Gorge

‘ Monet’s garden 1’ in Dales Gorge.

' Monet's garden 2' in Dales gorge

‘ Monet’s garden 2’ in Dales gorge.

Author: elainedesterre

I have been producing oil paintings, mixed media, prints (etching), digital prints and drawings for many years travelling to the Australian outback and overseas for inspiration and further education. My formal education consists of a PhD in painting and a BA in printmaking and my artwork is represented in public and private collections. My purpose and ongoing challenge is to create a gender-balanced and environment-focused iconography within the Western canon of European oil painting. These themes find expression within imagery about time, memory and identity as well as in geomorphology of evolutionary and environmental significance.

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