Art, Identity & Place

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

Weano Gorge and Fragments

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Post exhibition slump and scratching around in my studio, gathering together half done images left in mid-stream when I focussed on exhibition preparation. It is so easy to overlook a piece of paper put aside temporarily or put in the too hard basket when something else captures my imagination. However I found a half-finished etching with frottage that was part of my series about the Pilbara and the gorges at Karijini National Park. This one about Weano Gorge was dated and sited on the frottaged rice paper.

Somewhere in the process back in 2014 I got to the stage of shredding and tearing up parts of the original etching; areas that were badly printed, ink too thin or the opposite, sludgy, that were discarded and the best bits retained. I keep these pieces of original intaglio or collagraph and put them in a box containing many remnants consisting of torn rice paper, handmade paper, sketches or any other piece of interesting imagery, textures, lines, tones or colours. Unexpectedly one of these remnants completed this image.

The original process consisted of printing the black intaglio, wiping  the light areas in order to intensify the highlights. Over this print  I placed rice paper containing a frottage taken from the gorge but the image looked incomplete so months later I added reddish pastel and then a piece of red paper, now partly obscured.  The next layer above consists of a rectangular shaped torn piece of paper containing part of the original intaglio but the opposite end of the original image. The torn image had fallen out of the remnant box and onto the floor where it caught my gaze as I rubbed in the red pastel and collaged the line of red paper on the left into the composition. The remnant seemed to ‘jump’ into the composition and now sits happily in its spot I think-fragments of paper and rock fragments.

Gorge Fragmentation, 1/1, 2015, intaglio, frottage and collage

Gorge Fragmentation, 1/1, 2015, intaglio, frottage and collage

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.

3 thoughts on “Weano Gorge and Fragments

  1. I really love this – from the deep velvet black to the rust red smudges, the torn frayed edges of the paper…. and seeing Fabriano watermark. It unites to create a most wonderful and beautiful piece of art! cheers, Debi