Art, Identity & Place

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

Rock formation in Karijini National Park

Fortescue Falls made of softer rock grey and pale brown dolomite.

Fortescue Falls made of softer rock grey and pale brown dolomite.

The rocks exposed in and around the gorges we explored such as Dales, Kalamina, Weano and viewed such as Joffre and Knox are mostly banded iron formation and belong to the Brockman Iron Formation part of the Hamersley Ranges. Deposited in the Hamersley Basin over a 350 million year period this formation consists of alternating layers of fine grain quartz, iron oxides, carbonate minerals and chert. Grey or pale brown Dolomite and beds of soft purple or pink shale are also present.

The uplifted and then deeply dissected plateau is called the Hamersley Surface where the gorge erosion probably took place in the Late Cretaceous or Early Cainozoic when the Pilbara gently titled North-Westward. Rivers then cut downward eroding softer shale and Dolomite finding lines of weakness in the joints and faults aiding head-ward erosion. The formation of the Karijini gorges is estimated to have taken 20 million years.

Joffre gorge shows layers of rock formation undisturbed for 350 million years.

Joffre gorge shows layers of rock formation undisturbed for 350 million years.

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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