Objects In The Mirror
Magma Galleries, Collingwood. 7th—29th October 2023
Landscape and it’s identity is a loaded question anywhere on the Australian continent, but the particular site of the middle Snowy River in Ngarigu county, carries the weight of an ongoing identity crisis. It is through the tumult of indigenous history, settler narratives and contemporary climate events which these paintings interrogate.
The paintings employ a particular literal lens and geometry, a parallel perspective without a vanishing point or horizon - objects in the mirror. They give a similar effect of flattened perspective to that found in certain medieval paintings as well as electron microscopy and interstellar telescopy. As if viewing the landscape from outer space, this view is seen as an explosion of a single point of view, and so of the ego. Stemming from a prior fascination with depicting projected narratives into a landscape these paintings illustrate the possibility of multiple states. To invert the truth, to strip the adornment of identity, and to do all this in retrospect is all that’s left to do.
A new work has been selected to this invitation-only prize. Datum Gelidae, 2019–2023 is a newly finished painting. The title comes from ‘given the cold’ translated into latin, and refers to the now dynamic state of what might have once been looked upon as static geography. It is a painting of the Antarctic polar ice thickness, using a 2019 dataset measured by the CryoSat and ICESat-2 satellites. Stretched over three panels, it depicts our massive but vulnerable southern icecap. The irregular terrain depicted in the painting reflects both the sub-glacial terrain, but also reveals glacial accumulation and depletion across the continent. The painting’s support is a particularly delicate and raw linen, which like the sea around the Antarctic, is deep, dark and vulnerable, and which absorbs the light of all around.