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:

logo-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 


3 Comments

Weano Gorge and Fragments

 

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