25 MAY - 1 JULY 2012
In May 2011, 13 prominent Australian artists ventured to the Barrier Ranges in north western New South Wales, for an epic journey into the vast landscape of Australia’s arid desert. Driving 1,100km west of Sydney, past Broken Hill and on to the University of NSW’s Research Station at Fowlers Gap, each artist responded to the landscape in their unique way. Artists featuring in Not the Way Home include: Margaret Ackland, Elisabeth Cummings, Merran Esson, Joe Frost, Alan Jones, Jennifer Keeler-Milne, Ross Laurie, Steve lopes, Euan Macleod, Idris Murphy, Amanda Penrose Hart, Peter Sharp and Guy Warren.
Curator of the exhibition, Owen Craven, Editor, Artist Profile and Art Almanac magazines, documented the journey along with journalist James Compton and ABC Open Producer Sean O’Brien.
“The brief for the artists was to explore the landscape and respond. While this may seem a simple task, the vast landscape of Australia’s arid desert was a new and unknown territory for many of the artists, presenting them with visual and conceptual challenges to navigate”, said Craven.
After two weeks working en plein air in the desert, the artists returned to their studios to develop works for the group show. With a career spanning more than seventy years, Guy Warren was the most senior artist on the trip. Having travelled extensively throughout his career as an artist, Warren made hundreds of drawings which he took back to his studio to create larger scale works.
“I enjoy drawing in the landscape. Painting en plein air is for the birds. The wind blows one’s board down. Flies and mosquitoes descend in swarms. Sand, flies and bugs stick to the paint. And finally, the weather is always too blisteringly hot, or too cold, too windy, or raining. Clearly Van Gogh and Monet and his mates must never have had to cope with these problems”, said Warren.
Image: GUY WARREN Shadows 2011 oil and acrylic on canvas 180 x 150 cm