News: September 2012

Selected as a finalist in the 2012 Heysen Prize, for Interpretation of Place

I am very happy with the news that one of my drawings was selected as a finalist in the 2012 Heysen Prize for Interpretation of Place.

The Heysen Prize is named after Sir Hans Heysen, one of South Australia’s finest landscape artists, and is held in Hahndorf, S.A. (where Sir Hans Heysen lived). The exhibition will be open from Sunday 7th October until Sunday 2nd December, 2012 (opening hours 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, 7 days a week), at the Hahndorf Academy, 68 Main Street, Hahndorf, SA.

My selected entry:


Under the Canopy of a Magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree


Under the Canopy of a Magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree
75cm x 57.5cm, black biro ink and watercolour pencils on acid-free paper.
Date produced: August 2006, while living at North Adelaide (2005-2006).

It was simply amazing sitting in the dark cool space of this massive organism, with its thick boughs branching out everywhere.

This huge tree with a large spread of canopy is located in Angas Gardens, North Adelaide. To do this drawing, I spent many days (about two and a half weeks full-time) sitting under a low-hanging bough that extended about 18 metres from the centre of the tree. The drawing represents a very wide-angle view containing a lot of detail (the main reason for using fine biro to produce the image). I carefully used grids throughout to express the amazing organic structures of the tree, as well as the ground plane and the space in the sky and canopy.


This drawing was produced as part of my Microcosm project. It was specifically produced as a way of somehow ‘completing’ a major drawing of the same view of the tree that I had started and worked on for some time during 1984.

This drawing has been done directly from the tree as much as possible as it is now (on-site), but several branches had been cut off since the drawing done 20 years ago, so the original drawing was used as a reference for those branches.

I used biro and coloured pencils, to keep production time down to a minimum (still took several weeks), as opposed to the time required for a production based on pastels and conté (several months for the level of detail required). I kept the drawing to a similar size to the other drawings in this project (about as large as I can work on-site using a single sheet), which made the drawing size of the tree less than half the size of the original.

Grids were carefully created (set out with the aid of a computer) for the ground plane and sky space to provide expression of the wide-angle space, and to enhance the expression of the bough extending forward directly overhead. The coloured pencil work is designed to enhance the expression of form and space - a form of the exaggerated aerial perspective I like to use.

Including the artist’s drawing and hands was an idea that was going to be part of the original drawing. They are part of the wide-angle view. I feel that adding these helps to add some sense of size to the drawing, but the wide-angle view tends to make the tree feel much smaller than it really is.

 

Detail 1:

Under the Canopy of a Magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Detail 1

 

Detail 2:

Under the Canopy of a Magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Detail 2

 

Detail 3:

Under the Canopy of a Magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Detail 3

 

Detail 4:

Under the Canopy of a Magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Detail 4

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