Art, Identity & Place

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

Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Revision

Must be the time of year and another image bit the dust. Not that I was totally unhappy but I thought that the dimensions of the board didn’t suit the image which would be better on a larger canvas.

Untitled

Untitled

The image was about a feature of Brachina Gorge termed The Golden Spike, a band of rock rising from the gorge floor part of a vertical curved ridge.

Usually renewing a painting is a messy business however this time it happened very quickly, not the normal sequence of events. I poured on several tones of the purple pink landscape colour, having blocked out the area I wanted to retain, namely, The Golden Spike. I had in mind the long leisurely stroll along the gorge as my friend and I searched for fossils. Instead of heads appearing in the composition as usual, the paint swirled into two figures. As I like to combine the real with the unconscious, a recalled dream memory that seemed to happen as the paint did the work with the figures merging into the landscape but at the same time partly separate in their own world, almost about to enter an arch of time back 500 million years.

Into Brachina 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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