119 cm x 67 cm, acrylic paints on board,
Date produced: October 2017 - April 2018.
This visual composition expresses aspects of being at one particular Moreton Bay Fig tree, growing in Angas Gardens in the Park Lands. This particular tree is considered by many to be the best in Adelaide, and was the subject of a two-year art project, my Microcosm project. The basic design comes from experiencing the tree from in under its dense canopy, seeing the shapes of its many massive branches and buttress roots, and seeing the masses of foliage from inside the hemisphere of its canopy. Importance was placed on trying to express the feelings of confronting such a massive organism, with its own strong presence, in the subdued light under the tree's dense canopy, seemingly with its own sub-environment. Nutrients are systematically collected from rotting debris amongst the buttress roots. There is an ‘exchange’ of atmospheric gases during photosynthesis. Exotic tropical bird calls ring out from various corners of the canopy.
The image is based on compiling more of a concept of the tree from the shapes of the tree's various trunks, buttress roots, and branches, rather than being a realistic single view of the tree. I used lines of dots throughout the painting, mainly because I find these in indigenous artwork are graphically powerful. I am not trying to produce artwork that is trying to masquerade as indigenous artwork. I am not indigenous. Acrylic paint typically dries quickly. While producing this painting, I worked out a good way of being able to keep mixed paint colours for several weeks. The painting took many weeks to produce, but overall I enjoyed painting this painting.
This painting was entered in the Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize 2018, but was unsuccessful in being selected to part of the finalists' exhibition held at the newly renovated Adelaide Festival Centre, Festival Theatre Foyer Gallery.