Burnshine  |  Arthouse Gallery  |  March 2014  

There are some places in the world that one feels called to. I believe they hold within them a quiet language. With time, that language becomes audible - you can feel the country. It holds lessons too, both about itself & for the listener. Bald Rock National Park has that kind of pull for me. This collection of paintings seeks to transcribe my understanding of this special place.

I visited Bald Rock’s summit last summer in intense heat after a recent bushfire had recently scoured it. The hard afternoon sunlight backlit the clouds, which in turn cast a deep shadow over country. The feeling of loss was palpable, yet things seemed like they were in balance, as if fire is a necessary ingredient once in a while. In perspective, a ravaged place is far better than total devastation. It reminded me that mortality & letting go are unavoidable, universal conditions of life. I didn’t know it then, but this intuition would guide my paintings into being.

The fragility of Bald Rock’s environment is something I also wanted to convey. I collected leaves from the site, intensifying their vulnerability by converting them into states of ash before painting them in the manner of trompe l’oeil. This repeated act across the collection reinforces a broader theme of environmental catharsis & transformation which underpins most of my work. Clouds fill the majority of paintings’ surface, dwarfing the leaves into insignificance. Clouds are an important recurring motif for me, they imply the intransigent and impalpable.

Hobie Porter

February 2014