I began this series with the idea I’d create something for my boyfriend’s office.
The initial efforts were photos of clouds (see earlier images) but I felt it was a great opportunity to do more painting. The plan was to have something that expresses a feeling of nature, wide open spaces and strong, bold colour.
Their space needed something masculine and simple, also. Previously, much of the paintings that had been completed were done for the home, for the interior space, with a gentle, decorative sensibility. An office requires imagery which is a little more robust.
I had been getting out and about, looking at different exhibitions and artists, and enjoyed the way artists like Minnie Pwerle used big, expressive strokes, rather than precious, little ones. I enjoyed the sense of freedom.
Deciding I also wanted to create an ‘expanse’, it is mindfully created simply as an abstract painting. It is without reference to Sugar Bag country or any specific area at all.
It is difficult not to be influenced by the colours we see surrounding us-I love bright colour and having spent a year with a teacher who had Aboriginal heritage who both encouraged us to be more aware of Aboriginal history and simultaneously scared us so much about copyright and the infringements on people’s stories and country, I have been extremely sensitive about the journey and the influence.
I have done a fair amount of reading on the subject, spoken to the cultural officer at the AGNSW who aassures me as long as you are telling your own story, it’s OK.
It also inspired me to teach Aborignal history to my students, as I was as a child and reflects a connection I have always felt to the sky, the earth and the spirit within.