Artist Statement: Broken Hill Work
In October 2016 I was Artist in Residence for 3 weeks with the Broken Hill Art Exchange.
I was interested in the challenge of working in a completely new environment, and set about making many enplein air studies each day (work created outdoors on location) in Broken Hill and the surrounding areas of Silverton, Menindee Lakes, Living Desert, Mundi Mundi Lookout.
My aim was to capture the essence of the locations, the expansiveness, barren beauty and evidence of human modification.
I arrived in time for Heritage Week where I had a number of opportunities to learn about local issues, meet locals and be invited on various visits eg. underground tour of a mine created in the late 1800’s.
During the residency I also had the opportunity to talk about my work on the local ABC radio, conduct two pop up exhibitions, attend a local artists workshop (Rick Ball), be interviewed for the local paper, and run a community enplein air workshop.
The work displayed here is enplein air work created on site, much of it on primed cardboard (wine and beer cartons) . The choice of cardboard surface was for its ready availability, practicality in the windy conditions, lack of preciousness, 3 d quality, rustic make do quality, which is how I saw Broken Hill in a sense. The major paintings have been created in the studio after the residency and were based on these studies, memories, and feelings. I have used (used) drop sheets for some of the paintings surfaces for the same reasons as using the cardboard.
Overall the experience to work at Broken Hill and environs was invaluable to me as an artist, and will influence me for a long time yet.