Nature - Beautiful but not Benign

Do you remember the Blue Mountains bush fires of October 2013? As an inhabitant of the vicinity, I witnessed the event unfolding with all its horror and implications. This is a recent painting made in response to that experience. It attempts to engage deliberately with the world’s difficulties. 

You don't have to look too far to see that although nature is amazing - beautiful, even exquisite - it can be a force of destruction, suffering and anguish. Tsunamis, bushfires and earth quakes are natural events that shock us out of any delusion that nature is benign. Even a cursory examination of the day's news reveals the complexity of living in a world of paradoxes – of beauty and cruelty, of plenty and famine, of presence and absence.

While my landscape paintings are arguably beautiful, they escape the banality of beauty for it’s own sake. As in my work, you intuitively recognise that nature is not controllable and its beauty is ephemeral. 

I feel compelled to make works that invite you to drift within them, potentially experiencing a non-rational space within which to encounter the paradoxes of the human condition; hope and despair, destruction and regeneration, fragility and power. 

What do you think? Can a landscape painting be both beautiful and speak about a catastrophic event? I'd love to hear from you - email me with your thoughts here.

Rising, Oil on Canvas, 101 x 101cm, $3500

Rising, Oil on Canvas, 101 x 101cm, $3500