Born 1972, UK
Lives and works in Hobart
Represented by nanda\hobbs
4 August — 14 August 2015
In 1821, the great English Romantic painter John Constable exhibited The Hay Wain at London's Royal Academy. The painting was to become one of the iconic allegorical works of the 19th century. With grace and acuity, both metaphysically and technically The Hay Wain marked Britain’s transition from a rural-based economy to an industrialised powerhouse. One can see the subject as an idealised partial arcadia—or the viewer can peel back the layers to discover Constable’s deeper concerns and interests.
Tasmanian-based artist Nicholas Blowers draws on his native British aesthetic sensibilities to deliver the powerful exhibition Savage River at Art Equity. Blowers, ever the weaver of exquisite technique and universal themes, shows the Savage River, Tasmania, landscape metamorphosed almost to abstraction through the world’s economies’ appetite for mineral wealth. The remote Tasmanian west coast mining town, perched on the end of the Tarkine Wilderness, provides Blowers with the raw material to explore beauty in the face of industrial and technological reconfiguration of the landscape.
Blowers's previous close investigation of the temperate rainforests of Tasmania—Tolkien-esque, dark and brooding—has given way to a lighter palette in this exhibition. However, there is no less intensity of execution. While the mystery of the undergrowth may have been surrendered, in Savage River we find beauty in the haunting silver-grey tones of the collapsed forest and the still waters’ reflections. Blowers has painted an elegy but in his exquisite mirroring of the toughness intrinsic to this challenged landscape he has celebrated Beauty’s defiance of destruction.
Blowers, like Constable, is a subtle commentator. He is not waving a flag for the contemporary Luddite; he is, rather, reminding us of our inheritance, precious beyond the riches that lie below the surface.
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