As it is no longer possible to camp at Hanging Rock, which I did in bygone years, for a week in order to paint: I had two tents - one for me to sleep in and the other for food and art equipment! It was a truly memorable experience, complete with the classical vision of a bat flying against the full blue moon from the vantage point of the Rock itself at midnight, indelibly etched in my mind. So with these memories resurfacing I went back to the Rock, hoping for blue sky, praying for it in fact, when the clouds looked like they were rolling in. And I got what I prayed for, clear blue sky and plenty of sunlight to cast dramatic shadows all over the beautiful rocks at this sacred site, which was the first time I have gone back since I went out there the first time, all the way back in 1987. The traditional custodians, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woi Wurrung and Taungurung used Hanging Rock for sacred ceremonies and initiations and it is with respect that I have approached this painting, the fact it is important land with a rich history going back thousands of years. So many photos were taken, in order to work from them back in my studio in Melbourne, with this uppermost in my mind, for my first landscape painting in 35 years! In fact the last time I painted a suite of Hanging Rock paintings was also the last time I had painted a landscape! A very unusual thing happened whilst painting this piece, as it felt like I was looking through a window at the Hanging Rock site and faces were coming out of the rocks. A fair few adjustments had to be made along the way to keep the spirit side balanced with the physical features of the landscape in my painting. In keeping with the exhibition brief, this work was done on paper, which I glued onto a stretched canvas prior to applying my signature style border pattern, which replaces the need for framing. I used acrylic paints and decorated the border with a compound and metallic foil with agatised wood accents. This is the first time I have painted with acrylics on paper using this intuitively driven method. I prepared the paper by sealing it thoroughly prior to making the border and I now favour working with this technique over straight canvas! I hope you enjoy viewing this painting as much if not more than I did creating it.
We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.