John Caldwell: Caldwell Country Unframed
04 - 26 June 2016
The paintings and drawings selected for this exhibition have all been produced in my studio in Blackheath. However they follow work done on location, during various working trips, often produced sometime after our return.
If I have developed a body of finished work from the visual records I bring home with me, I can return to that same subject matter indefinitely, working again from the visual notes I have made through sketching.
On site I sketch rapidly, just making enough marks to represent where I have stopped. I carry only the simplest material so I can cover more territory in the day.
Back in camp where conditions are often easier, I usually add more tone and detail while still sharp in my memory. I am not looking for future painting compositions at this stage, merely using the sketches as a means of imprinting the various aspects of topography, geology and vegetation typical of that area.
These particular landscapes fall into several broad groups, the first are to do with subject matter close to home in the upper Blue Mountains.
The idea for "Above the Valley Floor" came from looking down on the Nepean River from the eastern escarpment, but typically, developed with full use of artistic licence.
"Beyond Sodwalls","Hartley Granite", "Megalong Pasture" , and "Valley Timber" are to do with country just to the west of Blackheath
The second group of images relate to country that became familiar from many camping trips through the slopes and tablelands of NSW while developing a series called "Granite Country": extending from Bathurst through the New England and up into the Granite Belt of Queensland. As in all trips, ideas can stick during travelling to and from the destination such as "Northern Rivers Run", (along the Clarence River plain). The work from these trips are- "Approaching Change", "Mountain River Bend", "Divided Light","East Coast Gorge", "Granite Catchment", "Gully Boulders", "Hidden Gorge", "Namoi Gorge", "Reedy Creek ", "Tablelands Evening", "Western Bank" and "Wilderness Spur".
In recent years I have spent time in the East Kimberley and Kakadu, NT where some of the sandstone land forms have an afinity with the Blue Mountains landscape.
These images are - "Escarpment and Spinifex", "Kimberley Cliff Face", "High Escarpment", "Kimberley Ramparts" and "South of the River Plain".
"Western River Mouth" looks back to a five week camping trip along the southern coast of Western Australia.
Before I began painting I worked in the Channel Country of western Qld. "Western Watershed" and "Shed Paddock Tank" (constructed earthen water storage are called "tanks" in Queensland, "dams" in NSW),are from my memory of that area.
This is John Caldwell´s third Solo Exhibition at Artsite Gallery.