My work over the last thirty years has been a search to discover how we dwell and move within landscape. I have lived and worked all over the continent from the mountains of Tasmania to the floodplains of Arnhem land.  I see myself as a hybrid mix of artist and scientist; one who tries to relate the minutiae of the natural world - leaf, feather and beetle wing - to the abstract dimensions of the earth's dynamic systems.  Using techniques of watercolour, collage, frottage, nature printing and other methods of direct physical or kinetic contact I am finding ways of collaborating with the actual plants, birds, trees, rocks and earth of a particular place.

I like to think that the large works on paper on which I assemble these different drawing methods represent a kind of inventory or document about the state of the earth.  I want to reveal both the energy and beauty of it, as well as show its condition of critical even terminal change.  My interest is to paint the processes and energy field of the living systems of this land - flocks of birds, or water plants in swamps, or the movement of sand dunes or the ways in which trees regenerate after fire. 

My latest project is the exhibition and book: Midawarr/Harvest: The Art of Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley, at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra (23 November - 18 December) This is a project which has been at least 8 years in the making and features a huge 10 metre scroll painting which includes just 30 of the hundreds of food plants which abound in the North East Arhnem Land. Mulkun has been patiently showing me these plants whenever I visit.  Concerned to ensure that the knowledge of these plants is passed on, she has embarked on an important series of barks and larrikitj, some of which will be on show at the Museum together with my large painting which features the same plants painted from a different perspective.

Back to Top