Verisimilitude # 9 – 2007
Landscape as metaphor related to personal and national identity is a common phenomenon in Australia and particularly in rural areas. In the collective consciousness ‘living on the land’ and ‘focusing on the horizon’ encapsulates not only the struggle to subsist against the odds, but additionally embodies the equally empowering mythic visual capacity to enthrall and fire the imagination. This relationship to the land is very often quoted by individuals in defining our Australian national identity.
The simultaneous combination of naturalism and modernism in these paintings allow for a potential multi-layered reading. The centrally placed targeting or focusing device on the otherwise conventional landscapes are intended to encourage the viewer to interpret and contribute their own individual meaning to the idea of landscape.
The [re]focusing devices additionally emphasize the deepening worldwide crisis we face in our management of land resources and the dire need for environmental conservation.