Art, Identity & Place

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

Revisit old sketchbook, artwork from Kakadu and Nitmiluk

I revisited my Kakadu influenced artwork when a recent TV programme investigated park ranger’s work at Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks during the wet season that made possible safe passage for dry season visitors.

My previous series of works involved archaeological sites and Museums in Crete so the word “archaeology ” was fresh in my mind and also suggested by a fellow painter as part of the series title which is An Archaeology of Landscape. The reason was that I metaphorically connected the forces of nature and those of the archaeologist and miner. Both pare back layers of overburden although time’s span obviously vary to reveal essential structures or objects; the earth’s structures like ancient ruins and relics like specific types of rock.

As a dry season visitor and member of a painting group my immediate sketches were produced on site in gorges, beside billabongs and outliers. Frottage technique of rubbing pencil over a surface covered with paper as well earth staining paper from wet rice or handmade paper was another way to bring back to my studio impressions from this place.

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.

Comments are closed.