Two Lands

This recent work is an evocation of the landscapes of Sri Lanka and Australia, combined in unlikely but comprehensible form. Drawn from monotypes and collages, it reflects a childhood spent on a lush tropical island and subsequent migration to this more unforgiving environment.

Four Transition

Three Transitions, woven tapestries 30 x 30 cm 2014


Four Transitions, woven tapestries 70 x 170 cm 2016


A Trio of New Horizons, woven tapestries, 31 x 65 cm each, 2011


Twenty Four Evocations of the Wet/Dry Landscape, 90 cm. x 90 cm., woven tapestries, 2011

Two lands 32 X 128 cm 2009
Two Lands twice 32 x 128 cm 2009
Nine evocations of the Wet/Dry landscape 20 x 13 cm 2009/10


Monotypes - Horizon 32 x 66 cm 2009
Ink and Pastel on paper - Two Lands transition - 64 x 130 cm 2010


My "Two Lands" tapestries arose from an essay I wrote on landscape, drawing on the memories of a childhood spent in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and subsequent migration to Australia, my home for nearly fifty years. It forms the basis of a new body of work. In the last few years I have found a need, for the first time, to examine my origins and the indelible sensations of growing up in the East as part of a remnant colonial society descended from generations who found a foothold in a tear shaped, gem strewn, spice rich island by virtue of the Dutch East India Company. A visit there at the end of last year, after an absence of thirty years, has further motivated my interest and strengthened my visual memory, determining both a direction in my work and a desire to return on a regular basis. My investigations draw on particular aspects of my personal past and present in an abstracted evocation of literal and remembered landscapes, reflecting on what it means to belong to a particular place, or, in my case two places, and how the balance is achieved by visual means.

The work I am producing forms several strands. In "Evocations of the Wet/Dry landscape"
I have drawn on source material that is mediated through print publication of exoticised images of the countries in calendar and tourist guides, and used the medium of collage to juxtapose the elements and colours of my two homes against each other, aligning them in unlikely but comprehensible form. I am interested not just in how these landscapes appear in actuality but in how they are presented to us for consumption in vivid "snapshots" that influence the public imagination of a particular place. The resulting small tapestries extend their features, in abstracted form, into plausible vignettes.

In a substantial shift from realism to abstraction, I have made series of drawings and monotypes to explore the colours and sensations across the two lands. The images are further extended texturally in the medium of tapestry, which extracts their essential essence in woven form rather than reproducing them. Through this process I examine the dichotomies of climate and culture, creating a comparative study of the deep impressions of growing up in a lush, tropical island and subsequent migration to this more unforgiving landscape.



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