Jetty ll - Relief print - printed by Tom Goulder, Duck Print Fine Art Editions, Port Kembla. 2009
My paintings and prints draw on the coastal landscape of Port Kembla, through discovering and reflecting on its complex structures, chaotic forces and natural and imposed rhythms. Although our experience of environments is fragmentary and piecemeal over time, our understanding of them must be more holistic and grasp the connections and our place in them. This kind of awareness, informed by ethical and scientific perspectives, among others, along with our unavoidable tendency to personify nature, complicates the task of visual representation.
I’m attempting to present a composite view of a place through relatively simple structures and rhythms, relying on the associative force of abstraction rather than surface descriptions. The forms of “Jetty II”, for example, suggest a skeleton, marine engineering and wave patterns, simple configurations that invoke different scales and perspectives.
The paintings and graphic works mirror each other, often quite literally through the use of Photoshop to extract different layers and possibilities. Images are circulated and recycled through manual and digital modes. Whereas the paintings tend to cultivate luminosity and spatial layers, the graphics take advantage of the cut edge and the sharp contrast. Both reconstruct the organic as architecture, letting the two worlds flow together.
Copyright Richard Hook.