These paintings are currently at the Orange Regional Gallery for the Journeys West Exhibition , a group show opening 3rd October and on until the 14th of November 2014. With each picture is an explanation of how I see them relating to the theme "Journeys West".
"Light Fading: Jimmy and Ethel Governor at "the Drip" Gorge"
1m x 745mm, Oil on aluminium panel, $1500
Jimmy Governor was a part aboriginal man who became one of Australia's last bushrangers, Ethel was the white woman he married. It is a very dark story of racial discrimination and very terrible choices, and it captured my imagination with its mythic quality and horrific outcome. Despite growing up in Australia, I had never heard of this story before coming to the area for research for the show. Much of the story occurred near the town of Ulan, a couple of hours drive north of Orange. Also near Ulan, is "the Drip" Gorge, the setting for this picture, which is an extraordinarily beautiful area, that is now threatened by the expansion of a nearby coal mine. Kay Kane and I travelled to this gorge during May to work from this landscape, I was struck by the sense of impending tragedy contained in both "the Drip" Gorge's current predicament and the painful days that must have led up to Jimmy Governor's first homicide.
"Rehearsal Space #7"
1.5m x 925mm, Oil on aluminium panel, $3300
This painting is connected to the theme of the show in a more abstract way. "Jouney's West" evokes for me a journey into the wild or the unknown. This painting is more about an introspective moment and the untamed, animal intensity that can be seen inside, pulling us in multiple directions, shaping our behaviour, if we are prepared to look.
1m x 745mm, Oil on linen, $1500
This still life contains a river stone from the farm I grew up on in the Sunshine coast hinterland, and a gibber stone from the gibber plains out near Innamincka, which is near the border of Queensland and South Australia. I travelled there with my father on a couple of occasions. These trips held particular significance for me because he had worked near there as a stockman and yard builder before I was born, and I had grown up with the stories from his time working there. The old stock saddle evokes for me my childhood (as I rode in a similar one at the time) and also the early explorers and surveyors integral to Australian folk lore.