Landscape Obscura

Group Exhibition

21 February — 9 March 2019

Our view of the world is profoundly influenced by the method used to observe it. Beholding the raging ocean from the precipice of a cliff elicits a different response to passively viewing a smart phone video of the same vista. Indeed, the cultural/historical experience of a grand oil painting on an art gallery wall — no doubt awe-inspiring — is yet another impression of the natural world. 

The artist’s role as image maker, and the method by which an artwork is made, determines the perception and the intended meaning.  It is a truism of art history that, with time, perception can shift. Meanings are reconceptualised and tuned to a new audience—armed with the hindsight that history brings to our collective knowledge base. 

I have always found it interesting that one of the lesser known tools of the artist throughout the golden age of landscape painting, was the “camera obscura”.  This device, a simple box with a small hole in one side, required the artist to sit with their back to the view under a dark sheet, whist an image was projected onto the paper, upside down. The contours of the subject, traced by the artist, provided the scaffold by which a painting could be accurately executed. Their view was effectively a construct of science, rather than an emotional response to the subject. In our contemporary world, it is intriguing to think how many views are filtered through the camera of a smart phone, rather than the photographer enjoying the image of the ‘real thing’. 

This exhibition brings artists from varying genres and visions to tell a story of how we see our world. Cultural legacies place a lens on artistic interpretations—the once nomadic artists from the Western Desert are a juxtaposition to contemporary artists who deal with the human experience of observing the landscape.  These painters are recreating, morphing and drawing on the history of painting. Indeed, they push the genre to make the viewer delve into the soul of the land: the source of ‘genius loci’ as the Romans described—the protective spirit of place. 

Like the camera obscura of the 17th century, this exhibition is, in a way, a distortion. The work is about place, politics and the beauty of the land. It is a powerful and moving discussion in paint about ideas and mythology that locates us and acknowledges the importance of the collective history of this land.

Ralph Hobbs

\ Exhibition featured works

Giles Alexander

A Bit of Perspective

2019 \ Oil and resin on rotating aluminium \ 100 x 100cm

John Olsen

Dog Landscape

Mixed media on paper

145 x 134.5cm (framed)

John Glover

Keswick

c.1828 \ Oil on canvas (framed) \ 72.5 x 112.5cm

Brett Whiteley

Lavender in the Rain

1987 \ 4 colour screen print \ Edition 41/75 \ 127.5 x 97cm paper size \ Provenance: The Whiteley Estate

Kevin Namatjira

Mount Sonder from Glen Helen

2018 \ Watercolour on linen \ 182 x 244cm

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 1

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 26 x 15.5 x 2.5cm

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 2

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 27.5 x 16.5 x 2.5cm

SOLD

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 3

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 27.5 x 16.5 x 2.5cm

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 4

2019 \ Oil on found obect \ 25.5 x 14.5 x 2cm

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 5

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 25.5 x 15.5 x 2cm

SOLD

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 6

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 25.5 x 15.5 x 2cm

SOLD

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 7

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 27.5 x 16 x 2cm

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 8

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 27 x 16 x 2cm

Paul Ryan

Ping Pong Summer 9

2019 \ Oil on found object \ 27.5 x 16 x 2cm

SOLD

Nicholas Blowers

Pond Requiem

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 164 x 204cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070014PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070014PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070015PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070017PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070018PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-07001PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070021PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-07004PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-07005PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-07006PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on linen \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070010PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas (NABWT_RNO10-070020PAG)

2007 \ Acrylic on board \ 50 x 25cm

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Rockholes near the Olgas

2007 \ Acrylic on linen \ 200 x 494cm

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond 1 Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 32 x 42cm

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond II Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 32 x 42cm

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond III Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 32 x 47cm

SOLD

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond IV Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 32 x 47cm

SOLD

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond IX Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 31 x 40cm

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond V Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 32 x 47cm

SOLD

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond VII Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 32 x 47cm

SOLD

Nicholas Blowers

Savage Pond VIII Study

2018 \ Oil on panel \ 28 x 38cm

Paul Ryan

Tahiti Revisited (After William Hodges)

2019 \ Oil on linen \ 200 x 320cm

James Drinkwater

The Storm Crosses the Sea to Land

2019 \ Oil on canvas \ 200 x 140cm

George Ward Tjungurrayi

Tingari (AETJUGW20086SY

2018 \ Acrylic on linen \ 183 x 243cm

\ Install Image

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\ Other exhibitions

Kathryn Ryan

The Way Home

23 May — 8 June 2019

Mark Schaller

Ghosts of Sydney

2 May — 18 May 2019

Martine Emdur

Undercurrent

4 April — 27 April 2019

Contact Us

to find out more about Landscape Obscura.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday 11am - 4pm Saturday