SPRING an exhibition by Anna Fitzpatrick
Exhibition dates Sunday 7 December 2014 - Monday 19 January 2015
Norfolk Island Hibiscus 2800 x 1300mm Oil on Canvas
S P R I N G – A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
June 2014 in Sydney was the hottest June on record with an average daily temperature of over 20 degrees. This led to a strange phenomenon in NSW. In the middle of winter, plants and flowers started coming into bloom. I noticed this first one (very warm) winter night in Avoca Beach when walking back home from the picture theater. I started up our long winding path in the darkness and was powerfully aware of a strong smell of nectar. I felt across and my hands became engulfed by the downy round balls of a huge wattle tree.
Over the next few weeks in Avoca Beach the winter landscape turned into a riot of colour as plants and flowers sprung to life. This early Spring had a profound effect on the town, generating a fee-floating sense of well-being and happiness.
Through this exhibition I wanted to evoke that feeling of primal vernal energy generated by nature. I have explored this both through the traditional form of still-life painting and through large canvases that tend towards gestural strokes of colour rather than strict formalism or hard-edge geometry.
In some of the paintings I have responded to flowers as they appear in the natural landscape, set within an untamed background of exuberance and chaos (such as in Spring Wattle). In my still-life pieces the flowers have been taken into an internal setting lending a compositional formality to the artworks. Then there are the cross-over pieces in which the natural world begins to encroach on the domesticated world.
When you bring nature inside, the assault on order begins…After a time flowers begin to die and they start shedding leaves and dropping seed-pods, stamens release their strongly pigmented dust, seeds scatter, leaves litter, twigs trail messily. Your ordered space is no match for the power of nature. This concept is explored in Norfolk Island Hibiscus.
All of the artworks in this exhibtion were inspired by my first Spring in Avoca Beach with its boisterous sub-tropical landscape. I have used the avenue of intense colour to express the feeling and emotion generated by Spring.