The sub-tropical rainforests of the Gold Coast hinterland fascinate me - they are so full of pattern, texture and exuberant life in every scale from tiny lichen to gigantic trees. They were a powerful attraction to me many years ago when I was looking for a place to settle. On bushwalks I get excited and snap away madly with my camera, but when I come to view the photos, the magic has gone, there are just dull patches of light and shadow where I saw a myriad of interwoven patterns. This is what I mean when I say that I am interested in the phenomenology of perception - which sounds like 'artspeak' of the worst kind. I am trying to suggest the multiple overlapping layers of perception that are the real forest in my mind.
The painting was created in a number of stages. Firstly very fluid paint was poured, dripped and spattered onto the canvas.
Preserving some of the interesting patterns of the paint's interaction, I then went to work with a collection of stencils and masks that I have been creating from my photographs and drawings of the forest, overlapping semi-transparent layers of aerosol paint until I had arrived at what I found to be a satisfying composition. Then I chose my birds to occupy this fantasy forest - the Superb lyrebird (photo reference courtesy of Anne Marie Musser), the Satin bowerbird and the Eastern Spinebill. I paint the birds carefully, and realistically to the best of my ability. Here are some details
The work is quite large, 1m x 1m. Unframed. As is usual in my work, I have used some metallics to create a changeable light in the background.
Oil paint and oil based aerosol on professional quality canvas and stretcher