The following landscapes and images were the result of three trips to Australia between 2005 and 2008. I was awe struck by the light, the vastness and the colours of the Continent. Despite the gleaming glass and steel of Sydney and the quaint Englishness of parts of Adelaide, the New World Feel of the villas on Brighton beach and in Brisbane, for me there was a primitive aspect which somehow I kept coming back to, as I strolled through bright sunny streets and gazed at what this nation had achieved so quickly, and of course what they had so quickly dismissed.
I was impressed by the wonderful architecture and the way of life tied so closely to England, but mostly I was moved by two aspects of the Australian experience: the vastness and the colour of the dessert and the beauty and sadness of the indigenous people. They seemed to move through the streets like ghosts, somehow detached from Europeans, living in an alternative reality, where all the beauty had gone and something unrecognizable had taken its place. It was great to meet the guide in the Daintree forest who was so active and engaging, but also my heart felt a twinge as I spoke to an aboriginal man who was asking for money in a street in Adelaide. For me the act of giving something to him was about justice, not about charity. Anyway, other more astute and politicised observers have commented on the strife of the generations of Aboriginal people since colonisation began. I am simply expressing my feelings here.
The colour of the landscape is amazing of course, very much, in my mind tied to a mysterious life of its own, as perpetuated by films and myths regarding the outback. What I have been left with, is an otherness, a beauty which is hard to define and which was all new to me. The paintings below I hope say something of how it felt and how I saw it but it is up to the viewer as always to project their interpretations on my perceptions.