Native and PerennialKylie Elkington
27 October 2020
The Native and Perennial exhibition represents a continuing instalment of a major longitudinal undertaking of a specific aspect of Australian landscape painting, the complex and detailed minutiae of the land under our feet in miraculous environments like Cradle Mountain. While other landscape artists may be drawn to the distant vista and horizon, my depiction of landscape is often afocal and devoid of horizon, as if viewed from above.
Some elements are sharply in focus, while others require the time and contribution of a viewer to take time in front of works to allow them to reveal themselves more fully, to draw from long term memory the sensations of a mountain hike or foreshore walk encounter with a stunning native. The subject opens the doorway to a recalled experience with paint, in which to introduce visual and compositional drama into the movement and form, and subtleties of colour which are offered by plants endemic to parts of Australia, and in particular, Tasmania.
Along with indigenous plants, perennials appear in this current exhibition. Following some appearances in the Glover Prize, I had the opportunity to visit Glover’s Patterdale which had been planted with perennials by the new owner to reflect what Glover himself had introduced to the Tasmanian landscape. The richness of the themes associating landscape paintings by Glover with a love of plants, and the notion of what one leaves as a legacy of reflection led me to create some works of perennials. Dying back each autumn and winter, they return with strength each year with foliage and blooms.