Elaine d'Esterre

Feminist Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings


“Littoral” Blurb

Some artists say that paintings ‘speak’ for themselves but, while I partly agree, I feel that information about artwork increases viewers’ enjoyment and curiosity. I don’t think I’m illustrating words verbatim but I do get inspiration from written source material as well as from other inputs- observation, memory, dreams and many emotions. I like to read blurbs when I look at the work of other artists as it increases my sense of engagement. However my first engagement with another artwork is through its visual impact and my emotional reaction, then I search for the words.

Chatting with the artist- always the way to go. Saturday March 5 from 4- 6pm at:

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LITTORAL – Point Roadknight

Littoral

 

BLURB

Particular rock formations on the bay side of this small promontory have resulted in the action of mineralization and seepage over thousands of years. This calcified a system of tree roots that reach through an extensive dune. In this series of oil paintings, mixed media and etchings, my particular focus is on Port Roadknight’s seashore and landforms, an intertidal zone known as “littoral”.

 

 

 

 

Firstly at this site I recorded by sketch and photograph the changes driven by the forces of erosion. While charting these images over a five-year period I felt a sense of quiet desperation, loss and distress at the evident effects of climate change. The slow disintegration of this intriguing place expresses itself in the oil painting, Point Roadknight Erosion, 2007.

 

 

Point Roadknight Erosion, 2007, 92x180 cm, oil on canvas

Point Roadknight Erosion, 2007, oil on canvas

 

 

 

 

 

I then focused on a feature within the cliff face, often referred to by locals as “the petrified forest”. Rows of trunk-like ‘columns’, now almost lost to the sea, resemble ancient ruins. Colonnades, porticos and an entablature appear to emanate from the cliff face. An orange layer of horizontal rock runs along its length above the ‘columns’, a vibrant essence I set out to capture in Entablature, 2012.

Like an Entablature, 2012

Entablature, 2012, gouache 52×73 cm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resurface 2, 2010 and Sand Cradle, 2010 are an allegory, representing how a diver physically and an artist mentally descend into places real and imagined and resurface with treasure or inspiration.

 

The heavily textured elements in Petrified Forest 1 and 2, The Sun Rises and Sand Reflection, are an example of my handmade paper, which I made from marram grass picked from local sand dunes. I combined these with frottage, using graphite to make rubbings from broken ‘columns’ scattered along the intertidal zone.

 

In Aglow and Column Shadow, I aimed at how mid-winter sunlight at dawn falls on to the chalky cliff face, making it appear to glow before casting deep shadows on it. As the sun continues to rise this contrast defines the many imaginary shapes that emerge from this section of shoreline.

 

All welcome to come and chat about the work and that of other artists also exhibiting at 69 Smith Street Gallery in Fitzroy.

 

 


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Drought Imagery on my Homepage

I completed these eight etching collages last year when I sensed that atmospheric conditions could herald another drought, hopefully without the severity of the last unforgettable one.

The mind/scape iconography of floating heads and ears especially are meant to indicate the way in which some sounds set off an unexpected stream of images – an underworld where fears and insecurities reside.

The existence of the images was almost like an omen, as I took them from my plan draws after a year, that jolted me now that an El Nino weather event is now controlling our weather system in 2015. And as I re-photographed them on my verandah, large spots of rain spattered them but very, very briefly, as true to form, the rain fall abruptly ceased.

Hardly projecting a sense of joy, they resemble a drought ravaged landscape – a bit withered and colourless.

Sounds of Drought 3, 2014, etching collage

Sounds of Drought 3, 2014, intaglio, drypoint, chine-colle and collage  


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Behind the Scenes at LANDforms Exhibition

Many friends behind the scenes ensured that all preparations for my LANDforms Exhibition ran smoothly. Apologies for my very average photography in this blog.

Amazing amounts of organisation: labels, “Artist Statement”, “CV” and blurbs placed on core board, the catalogue accompanied by a list of my artworks in “Public Collections” as well as the packing, transporting and then the hanging of 35 items, are thanks to Natalie Utmar and and Gavin Cross who also arranged the lighting and highlighting of the paintings and etchings.

The gallery provided input from their curator, Patricia Goldby whose suggestions about artwork placement, lighting and the finer points about presentation were invaluable. (More about this in my next blog.)

Added to everyone’s focussed efforts,  the gallery committee members were helpful and collaboration at all stages ran smoothly.

Preparations for Saturday’s Opening, October 24  from 4 – 6pm are under way. In gallery 1, guitar soloist Gavin Cross will be performing a mixture of Classical, Latin and Jazz compositions to add to our enjoyment as well as tapas, olives and nibbles and the wine sourced from the Wolseley Winery situated in the Surf Coast hinterland behind Bells Beach and Anglesea at Paraparap, as well as bubbly and mineral water.  Hopefully good music combined with wine, food, conversation and the artwork contribute an entertaining and stimulating afternoon.


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LANDforms Exhibition – not only Lake Mungo

Other significant places including Lake Mungo featured in my exhibition are found in Nitmiluk and Kakadu National Parks, the Karijini National Park and at Point Roadknight, a small promontory along The Great Ocean Road.

It is Written, 2007

It is Written 2, 2007, oil on board

Along the sides of the Katherine Gorge passages of sediment configured in ways that reminded me of ancient texts in stone.

Downward Drift, 2014

Downward Drift, 2014, intaglio and chine-colle

As oxygen entered Earth’s atmosphere it caused iron laden sediment in the ocean to rust, fall to the sea floor and over eons compress into The Banded Iron Formation found in the Pilbara. In this etching – intaglio and chine-colle I imagined the process of sedimentation.

Tidal Surge, 2010, intaglio and collage 26x16 cm print, 48x35 cm paper

Tidal Surge, 2010, intaglio and collage 26×16 cm print, 48×35 cm paper

A  mineralised root system, part of the Point Roadknight promontory, called the “Petrified Forest” resembled an ancient ruin complete with columns, portico and entablature. Now non-existent due to high winter tides, sea spray and wind.

LANDforms exhibition invitation. October 21- November 8

LANDforms exhibition invitation. October 21- November 8


Pilbara Revision: “memento mori”

I returned to last incomplete artwork about the Pilbara in Western Australia where ancient rocks termed the Banded Iron Formation, 2-3 billion years old reminded me of memento mori  paintings. In the traditional versions of this topic a figure holds a skull contemplating life’s fleeting span. As an alternative, I get a buzz from observing geological layers in particular landforms that like a type of calendar remind me of my mortality.


Etching Collage about Lake Mungo

Two more images about Lake Mungo that refer to the landscape and how it may be understood in relation to its geology.

I have continued combining metallic leaf, handmade papers and intaglio with some intaglio as collage.


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Etchings about Lake Mungo

The images are about Lake Mungo, its environment and how I reacted to it. Once again I continue the experiments with metallic leaf, this time silver leaf combined with intaglio and collage.

The Sounds of Mungo refer to the comparative silence of this flat dry lake surface and large lunette – shaped dune. The ear is almost eye – like as it ‘sees’ into the landscape and the blinded eye ceases to register outer observation as an inner sense of the place or mental image prevails.

The mention of “red soil” in the titles about trajectories refer to how the colour of the dunes opposite the red hills became an earthy pink colour. Blown from the west across the dry lake, the red earth deposited on the dune seeps down as it rains producing a washed out pink colour which at sunset creates a stunningly beautiful glow.

Other artworks started from the same plate but developed into a variable edition.

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