‘This year I moved from Brisbane City to the small coastal town of Yamba, on Yaegl Country. With a newborn baby, I was happy to retreat or go to ground. Such major life changes are known to fuel creative practice. In this way, these paintings use the physical land surfaces of this environment as inspiration to parallel my figurative ‘going to ground’.
The Yamba landscape is both rugged and beautiful. Dramatic coast is lined with rock pools that teem with life; brightly coloured algae, starfish and limpets are on show if you crouch down. Spooky Beach has abundant driftwood and natural springs flow through sand into the salt sea. The tide brings watery rhythmic changes, revealing and concealing as it flows. Although the big sky and distant horizon line are ever present and dominating in this place, in this work I chose to dwell on what was underfoot.
These paintings take cue from the ground surfaces, and then extend upon this experience in the studio. Rather than reproducing what is seen, I aim to use all my sensory observations as a foothold to move into a personalised-scape. Painting processes respond to those found in nature, such as sanding back or layering and removing. Shapes and patterns found in the terrain are called upon and celebrated through material.
This work embodies a search to be grounded in the landscape and also within an imaginary space. The ability to foster imagination and deep connections with the natural world are traits I believe provide meaningfulness to everyday living. Spending time on the ground and in the studio instils a humbling and meditative quality; attributes I hope can be evoked during your viewing of the work and perhaps encourage you to ‘go to ground’ in your own way.’
Dr Jacqueline Scotcher is a doctor of Art Philosophy and a university lecturer in Creative Arts. Jacqueline joined our gallery after moving to Brisbane from Cairns and has since relocated to Yamba in NSW.
The shows runs from 9- 21 November 2021.
Opening Night: Thursday, 11th November 6–8pm. Private viewings are also available
RSVP here as numbers are limited!