Morning Fog

Tasmania: Land & Water

Graham McKenzie

Galleries 4 & 5

12 - 30 November

Opening Wednesday 12 November, 6.30-8pm

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Painting landscapes encourages me to explore the many different understandings and approaches to this theme that I have experienced through my observations and participation. In most of the series I have completed over the last three or four decades, I have explored not just the visual differences, such as those in the Outback paintings and this series from Tasmania, but also highlighting a human understanding of, and an involvement with the landscape.

As I have travelled through the broad expanse of this country I am regularly stimulated by fleeting glimpses that are outside the aeroplane cabin or the car windows, with the need to record these responses so that I can return to them in my studio.

When I am initially recording these images I am aware of the fact that most are asymmetrical and lack balance. The elements are isolated into an abstract composition that regularly lacks any sense of photographic realism. I find that these compositions then build an emotional response visually, through the pictorial space I have been surrounded by.

These Tasmanian paintings have been recorded from the many visits I have made to the island over considerable time. I have been able to convey this in my work, as it links with the emotive responses I have had during the different seasons and times of the days during my visits.

I have kept away from standing in front of a scene to compose a symmetrical figurative view as this is not how the original stimulus came to me at the time. These works are then undertaken in the studio, revisiting my responses to the various locations through my memories, notes and the drawings completed in the initial observations and conversations.

I enjoy being on my own in the landscape and then during the time spent in my studio, as I listen and respond to the explanations I have recorded at the times. These conversations are so important particularly as I begin to reveal the images on the canvases back in my studio. The resulting landscapes are really abstract compositions that rely on the elements of composition, through colour, texture, form etc. This becomes the language used as a means to explain what (landscape), painting is all about.