Walking at Mt Buffolo in Victoria’s alpine region today fired up my passion for mountain landscapes again. The white snow gums, massive boulders, flat marshy dells, multitude of leaf shapes and colours, so evocative, yet so difficult to grasp their quality. Last year I took photos of the white skeletons of trees with the intention of doing some painting. There was no magic in the photos, which eventually got deleted to trash.
As we drove up the mountain, the play of light on the bleached stick-like remains of trees captivated me. I thought of arts writer Nicholas Rothwell’s review of Fred Williams work in last weekend’s Australian newspaper. Rothwell noted that Williams bought a new interpretation to the Australian landscape. What Williams omitted is fundamental his vision; there is no human reference point to determine scale or distance, no foreground, and no detail in the tree forms.
Rothwell likened William’s perception to the experience of landscape from a car. The carefully placed grid lines in some of his works could be seen as references to either fence lines or roads. And it was precisely this idea of landscape from a car that prompted me to stop to take this ‘car view’ photo.
It’s a pity I won’t be in Melbourne while visiting Victoria as a quick trip to see the Fred Williams exhibition currently on at the Geelong Art Gallery would definitely be on the agenda. Do doubt this would give me more inspiration, for I really do love the way Williams interprets the Australian landscape. Though busy working on a series for the forthcoming Expressions Exhibition I will ‘park’ these ideas for future exploration.