Works (left to right) Martin McEwen, ‘Burning Pine’ 2006, Robert Hawkins 'Lost in Space'
Boat-like forms feature in this exhibition as a reference to their importance as metaphors; The spiritual/physical journey, The sense of place/homelessness; Salvation/being cast adrift; The search for (so called) meaning. The figurative elements are reminiscent of Nolan’s depictions of Ned Kelly. To me the figures present somewhat forlorn figures, peering out on a hostile landscape through a slot in a hand fashioned helmet. In the end the armour offering him no protection at all. As such the figure (Ned if you like) represents a part of the human psyche or sense of being; Whilst clothed against some perceived danger we (and perhaps ‘we’ as peculiarly Australians) look outward with some trepidation towards the world at large.
Martin McEwen – Fire and Rain Series
This series consists of two complementary groups of paintings based on the elements fire and rain. Fire and rain are both archetypal elements, fundamental to our existence. The works explore the relationship these elements have with our psyche.
The sensual quality of rain connects us with the earth. Cold and wet, it surrounds our skin and stimulates our senses. It sustains and nourishes, cleanses and renews. The sound of rain is like white noise: it envelops us in a protective mantle. Fire has the power to illuminate, to transform and reinvent our experiences. It carries great symbolic meaning. Fire is a manifestation of the magical within the physical world.
I developed the idea of the rain series during a wet holiday at Arrawarra Beach, surrounded by estuaries and swamps. After days shut off from the world by torrential rain, I observed the landscape take on a unique quality: of muted tones and swirling reflections. Figures seemed to float dreamlike in an amorphous grey world without point of reference, suspended between the physical world and imagined places.
The context for the “fire” paintings is urban; the constructed world. The landscapes are warm, bathed in soft evening light, yet there are powerful and unsettling forces about. A wind storm is building. Trees are bending and buildings are being inextricably drawn into a vortex of light. Telegraph poles and trees are burning spontaneously. There is a sense of mystery and expectation as we journey from the real into the imagined.
*High resolution images are available if required, please contact the Director Caroline Wales.
Horus & Deloris | Contemporary Art Space | Copyright © 2006. We are currently looking for proposals from artists for 2008.
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