As future becomes present and fades into yesterday, only memories remain. A thousand generations left their memories on this country, changing it to suit their needs long before Europeans arrived. I spend a lot of time walking in landscape, looking at landscape, seeking traces of those who walked it before me. I research and write about Tasmanian history with an eye for the ridiculous and a dark sense of humour, and I paint.
My ancestors were among the earliest English settlers here, where wildlife and geology are exotic even by Australian standards. The infinite variety of shapes, texture and colour in the Tasmanian bush provides me with endless inspiration, but when it comes to painting I am not interested in recording an accurate image of a specific feature. My paintings are about ideas. Landscapes provide the stage and help set the mood of the picture and I adjust and modify them freely to fit my needs, working from memory but occasionally referring to a photograph for an odd detail.
Living in my grandfather’s house, I am surrounded by relics of the past. As well as my own family history, I am influenced by nineteenth century literature, Heavy Metal music, Goth fashion, environmental degradation and climate change, and my artwork is about landscape and the people who have passed through it. The characters in my paintings are no more sad, happy, benign or malicious than people you meet every day, nor are they lost souls. They are part of the land and its history, imagined in my search for uniquely Tasmanian Gothic mythology.