Taking the Scenic Root

Taking the Scenic RootThis current series of new works extends my interest in the representation of the body through realism in both sculpture and painting. From a professional artistic career that spans 30 years my initial interest in expressions of the landscape evolved into a deep exploration into representations of the body. Extensive research and study undertaken as a postgraduate research program exposed the complexities associated with the politics of the body especially in regards to explicit or erotic representations. Though this new work seek to apply the easily accessible aesthetic of landscape painting to intimate studies of the body to create a series of ‘Bodyscapes’.

I hope through the re-presentation of both genres of painting into this integrated ‘Bodyscape’ the audience may engage with the associated interconnectivity that exists both physically and culturally to nature in its most fundamental form. The intention of this work is not to shock but to explore new ways to see the body – one uncontaminated by the moral judgements we make of explicit imagery of the body? Perhaps, too, the body can lend something to landscape painting in return for the legitimacy of the genre. Behind the soft tones and the artful compositions, many depictions of landscape mask a disturbing truth: the destruction of natural environments and our shaping of nature for our own aesthetic pleasures. Gustave Courbet painting in the mid 18 century insisted that he ‘never lied in his paintings’, and his realism kept pushing the limits of the presentable further and further. This objective I believe is equally valid today.

In an era of unprecedented community unwellness in relation to body image in both men and women, I hope to encourage people to view the body in a new light and re-position the body in art as a contemporary alternative to Victorian/Enlightenment censorship. Using a medium (and a genre) that people feel familiar and comfortable with, allowing the generation of the something new, the presentation of alternatives, or proposals that differ from that which is already available in the image saturation media.