Fiona Somerville 


15 - 29 July 2023

For many creative people, there will be a lineage of other artists discovered in the long history of art, who they will connect with - and naturally this varies for each individual - but it is something not unlike a family tree, but in reverse - and so often we will find on closer examination of this "family tree", that many of the artists with whom a connection is felt, have also been looking at and learning from each other, despite living in different countries or even different millenniums.

Fiona Somerville's recent paintings, which develop from a close examination of the Central Victorian landscape, replete with staunchly defiant vegetation and the midden like mounds associated with old gold mining districts, speak to us of this tradition - and it is possible to draw lines of connection from Fiona's work to 20th Century artists such as Paul Nash, Giorgio de Chirico, his brother Alberto Savinio and the more contemporary Chicago artist, Roger Brown - but Fiona's portraits of neglected or abandoned Australian rural buildings also have associations with the calmness of 13th and 14th Century painters such as Cimabue and Giotto.

The use of alternating soft pink and blue bands, a colour combination also favoured by Clarice Beckett, brings both warmth and solidity to the paintings, whose skies are punctuated by classically stylised clouds and the playful use of small black dots, representing the ever-present bush fly - a continuous life force in a landscape of bricks, pipes, corrugated iron and household items, which are all gradually and indisputably being reclaimed by the land that once produced them.

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