THE WOODEN WALL

Painters Gallery, Pyrmont, Sydney 1987

This exhibition, comprising mostly large acrylic and pastel paintings, is perhaps the most cohesive body of work I’ve produced. There were 26 works in the exhibition. Those shown here are typical examples.

The subject was a wall of wood, The Wooden Wall, created when a new road was being formed between Sofala and Ilford in NSW. A great many trees had been bulldozed into long rows on both sides. Often up to four metres high, these rows formed a fascinating mass of tangled debris which I visited frequently while working on the exhibition.

The flashes of intense colour symbolise the process of decay and regeneration that would eventually take place as the timber returned to the soil.

In the 24 years since this exhibition I have driven past this spot many times, usually on the way to Mudgee with my wife, Mona, for lunch (a three hour round trip!). The huge rows, which once ran for several kilometres, have now all but vanished and the casual observer would notice nothing. This reflects my recurring theme of ageing.

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