Elaine d'Esterre

Feminist Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings


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LANDforms Exhibition Preview

Several friends, unable to come to my exhibition can view selected parts of the show online here. Many people relate to the bleached-out landscape of Lake Mungo and are haunted by it and, like me, have had quite a battle engaging with this amazing place as an archaeological, cultural and geological site.

I hadn’t set out to arrange artwork in a narrative sequence, however in the corridor of the gallery

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I’ve noticed that on both walls are images about sand, erosion and climate changes. The ancient climate change thousands of years ago at Mungo depicted in small etchings sit opposite slightly larger etchings in which I had depicted aspects of erosion around Point Roadknight that is being rapidly transformed by incoming tides.

The images depicting aspects of Mungo are part of a variable edition. That is, one plate is used many times and combined with chine-colle and collage with the result that each image is a one off. I get really bored printing an edition in the traditional way, same image repeated as reproduction. I’m ok with about four identical images then I get bored and my mood demands change and variety. I’m sure I’m not alone here.

The chine-colle can be transparent or semi-transparent letting through underneath layers or alternatively opaque or metal leaf.

Sometimes in bleached-out places like Mungo the air has a metallic quality that’s hard to explain but its ‘shiny’ and ‘thin’.

Somehow by applying metals leaf I think I’ve made the atmosphere look a bit heavy but it does shine.

Because I had once lived in Central Queensland I was ready for the blast of heat and sensory bodily exposure. There are no cosy elements here; streams in which to cool off or gorges or foliage for shade, just desertification and dryness.

My first trip here was like a return to that type of country when I used to look for small micro climates in endless expanses of brigalow and mulga trees or like trying to paint in a dry river bed and observe small details like rocks and detritus left behind after the Wet.


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Mungo continued

These two images began with collagraph prints. The barely visible print in the first is concealed beneath two collaged rectangles consisting of silver leaf on red and black backgrounds. Shreds of print on semi transparent handmade paper then overlay parts of the leaf and allow part of the image beneath to ghost through.

I used a similar method with the second plate. The red collagraph print covers printed metal leaf placed on the first print that just shows through, visible in the lower section of the composition in the centre of which is a rectangular element of the imagery consisting of a silver leaf rectangle placed on a red surface.

I was trying to capture an idea of weathering process that shape the dunes and am ambivalent about the first image that may look better as a horizontal image. It began in horizontal format so… looks a bit too regular and structured maybe?

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Mungo continued

I used the same zinc plate with a collagraph glued to its surface to begin a variable edition by arranging the plate, chine colle and metal leaf into different compositions where I explored different aspect of Lake Mungo.

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