Art, Identity & Place

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

Lake Mungo Skies

The underpainting,  developed months ago, was vertically formatted for an intended interior self-portrait before I changed my mind and placed it in horizontal landscape format in fitting with ‘lake mungo paintings’ now that finally I felt submerged in the subject.

In this image I recall my first visit to Lake Mungo National Park in the late 1980s when a group of fellow travellers and I  could only get time off in December. Undeterred we ventured forth into the heat, dust and flies. The trip although adventurous was also disappointing due to the forty plus degree heat which dictated we explore the lunettes late in the day. Little work, frustration and discomfort sent us heading for the Darling River and Lake Menindee which at that time was full.

In this image I tried to record memories of these feelings and how later in my studio I reflected on how experiencing that environment and its forms influenced the way in which I constructed the imagery. Anatomical shapes, landscape and atmospheric shapes merge into each other.

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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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