paintings, places, process

Posts tagged “Sydney

Urban Forest

 

In this city, only about 20 minutes’ drive from downtown, you can walk along a bush track and feel thousands of miles away from the crush of central Sydney.

AttitudeatGeorgesHeights

Turn a corner, though, and you’ll find yourself facing a familiar line of skyscrapers across the harbour.

SkylineTreesPlane

I recently came across the term “urban forest”, used to describe¬†all the trees in a city, with no distinction between bushland, street trees or those on private property.

CitybeyondTrees

It’s a prompt for me to think of the bush not as something separate from the built environment, but as a network extending through it, as vital as any human-made infrastructure.

DanceSketchDtl

Images: self-portrait and landscape drawings from art journal, c. 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This City I’m In

After dance classes I would walk back through the city keeping an eye out for reflective surfaces in which I could record myself as part of the urban environment.Mirror_selfie_Wynyard

In the absence of a mirror, an ordinary selfie would do.Sakkas_MartinPlaceSP_2

This small performative exercise developed into more involved photo sessions in chosen locations, which in turn became material for sketches and paintings.Sakkas_NthSyd

It’s an ongoing (maybe life-long!) project, partly inspired by the whole-body self-portraits of US painter Joan Semmel, where the focus begins to shift away from the face to the expression of the body in response to place.Walkway_sketch_Sakkas

Images, top to bottom: Mirror Selfie, Wynyard (acrylic on watercolour paper); Martin Place (acrylic on watercolour paper); back arch with cranes, North Sydney (pen drawing in sketchbook); pen and watercolour sketch in art journal


The Beaten Track

TheBeatenTrack_detailThe Beaten Track, 2018, oil on linen, 56.5 x 46.5 cm (detail). An icebreaker to get back into oil painting after a very long period working in acrylics. It was also nice to return to the uncanny bushland of my subconscious.


Farewell to the old studio

In August this year I moved out of my studio of nine years, after the landlords had their development application approved. This three-storey warehouse opposite the Annandale Hotel in Stanmore, Sydney, was at different times home and work space to a number of artists including Elizabeth Day, Justin Trendall, Maria Cruz, Stephen Birch, Jacky Redgate, Brandt Lewis and India Zegan. Sculptor and painter Peter Hardy had been there for about 30 years. So we had a pretty good run, but it’s sad when these increasingly rare inner-city artists’ spaces go.

Studio_2014

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studio_dec21:12_3

StanmoreStudio_Francis_2006

StanmoreStudio_StFrancis_2006

StanmoreStudio_2006

 


Gallery

Winter 2015: Taking a line for a walk


Afternoons

Jul2013_ParramattaRd3Jul2013_LifeDrawing2Jul2013_studioJul2013_ParramattaRd2