elainedesterreart

original expressionist/surreal visual art.


Lake Mungo Terrain

 

I continue to explore different aspects of conditions at Lake Mungo. In a sense I feel as though I am ‘Painting’ with paper  http://au.pinterest.com/elainedesterre/collage-painting-with-paper/.

After the paper sales in November, inspiration, tactility and textures of different types of papers over took my oil paintings almost complete, but the urge for paper took over.

On top of a pastel paper background sits a torn piece of collagraph over laid with bark paper and other handmade papers.

I like to combine elements in compositions that allude to a sense of the macro, erosion over millennia with the micro, a sense of present time situated in this place of archaeological significance.

 

Lake Mungo Drying Across Millennia, 2016, mixed media on BFK Rives, 40x60 cm

Lake Mungo Drying Across Millennia, 2016

Touching the Lake Bed At Mungo, 2016, mixed media, 60x40 cm

Touching the Lake Bed At Mungo, 2016


Abstract Etching Collage

A moment when torn remnants of failed intaglio prints came together mentally. Something drew me away from my planned oil paintings and diverted me back to pieces of an old ‘jigsaw’. Unarticulated at the time, compositions that slipped away from my mind but returned and demanded unexpected attention.

The first image titled Leaving Lake Mungo, 2016 in diptych format, consists of a collagraph with an image of a dune that joins to an intaglio from which a figure is pulling away to merge into obscurity beneath layers of chine-colle and pieces of collage.

The second image titled Planning to Dive, 2016 refers to an older series of images titled The Diver, 2011,  an allegory about a type of creative process. it consists of intaglio, collage and torn intaglio, transparent paper and pianola paper with punctured holes as well as a piece of pastel paper with frottage.

The Goddess Return, 2016 consists of  a collagraph on top of which sits a small intaglio joined by transparent paper over silver leaf. The goddess image ‘joins the sky and earth’.

Leaving Lake Mungo, 2016Planning to Dive, 2016IThe Goddess Return


Collagraph and Collage

These two images were ‘accidents’ at the time but then developed into something else. The pink bleeding  happened accidentally when red coloured handmade paper and wet yellow tissue contacted each other. While part of the Mungo series  another direction presented itself, bring back memories of Mt Lyell in Queenstown, Tasmania.

Vegetation in this area of West coast cool rainforest in the roaring forties, denuded as a result of sulphur etc that spewed from the mine smoke stack was like being in a desert surrounded by earth colours.  Standing next to the open cut when the sun set and glowed on the bare earth’s surface was electric and it took a few days for me to get what I was on about. The dunes of Lake Mungo and the archaeological discoveries there were made possible by sheep grazing, removing grass thereby denuding and exposing  concealed dunes held together by that vegetation .

The presence of pink. gold, yellow and orange at Mungo was in my mind reminiscent of a copper mine open cut over a thousand miles south – a link between inspiration and memory.

Archaeologist at Latrobe University, Nicola Stern recently made further discoveries at what is one of Australia’s most important archaeological sites, described by Science Editor, Bridie Smith in The Age (Melbourne) on Thursday , the eighteenth of June, titled, ” Lake Mungo reveals its hidden secrets.”

To summarise, researchers established that the lake’s high water mark was 5 meters higher than realised and created an island between Lake Mungo and Lake Leaghur to the north, on which archaeologists found embedded in sediment stone tools and fireplaces. However Lake Mungo dried out 15,000 years ago as evidence to the east of the area attests.

New technology  now allows archaeologists to study a new line of beach gravel 5 meters above the main shoreline, therefore indicating that the lake held 250% more water than previously thought. The high water level lasted about 1000 years.

Dr Stern said that when the lake level dropped fine clay sediment from the exposed lake floor was wind-borne and dumped upon the coarser sand of the dune that originated from the beach at the lake’s edge when water levels were higher. ” When you’ve got sand, you know the lake was full and when you get clay you know that the lake was lower,” Dr Stern said.

These insights mean that the ancient indigenous inhabitants would have relied on watercraft in which to navigate this inland sea 24,000 years ago before the climate changed and turned this location into desert country.

This new information adds to how I reimagine this place. Although I printed and collaged several collagraphs, my new oil paintings will benefit from a more thorough understanding of how to look at traces of change left within the landscape.