Art, Identity & Place

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

LANDforms Exhibition Preview

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Several friends, unable to come to my exhibition can view selected parts of the show online here. Many people relate to the bleached-out landscape of Lake Mungo and are haunted by it and, like me, have had quite a battle engaging with this amazing place as an archaeological, cultural and geological site.

I hadn’t set out to arrange artwork in a narrative sequence, however in the corridor of the gallery

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I’ve noticed that on both walls are images about sand, erosion and climate changes. The ancient climate change thousands of years ago at Mungo depicted in small etchings sit opposite slightly larger etchings in which I had depicted aspects of erosion around Point Roadknight that is being rapidly transformed by incoming tides.

The images depicting aspects of Mungo are part of a variable edition. That is, one plate is used many times and combined with chine-colle and collage with the result that each image is a one off. I get really bored printing an edition in the traditional way, same image repeated as reproduction. I’m ok with about four identical images then I get bored and my mood demands change and variety. I’m sure I’m not alone here.

The chine-colle can be transparent or semi-transparent letting through underneath layers or alternatively opaque or metal leaf.

Sometimes in bleached-out places like Mungo the air has a metallic quality that’s hard to explain but its ‘shiny’ and ‘thin’.

Somehow by applying metals leaf I think I’ve made the atmosphere look a bit heavy but it does shine.

Because I had once lived in Central Queensland I was ready for the blast of heat and sensory bodily exposure. There are no cosy elements here; streams in which to cool off or gorges or foliage for shade, just desertification and dryness.

My first trip here was like a return to that type of country when I used to look for small micro climates in endless expanses of brigalow and mulga trees or like trying to paint in a dry river bed and observe small details like rocks and detritus left behind after the Wet.

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.

2 thoughts on “LANDforms Exhibition Preview

  1. This looks so good, Elaine.