Intersections – embedded in the city 2005
Intersections is a series of paintings that depicts people walking in the centre of Melbourne in the intense heat of a summer day. Alex had been painting nature and groundscapes. He turned his attention to the area in which he works – the centre of a city that, like the natural landscape, survives in the extremities of the often-harsh Australian climate. When on location he found that the intense heat forced him to be more focused on the road itself and on how people traversed the bitumen and negotiated the signage associated with the road. He found that the light hitting the pavements emphasised the tram tracks and was interested in the ways that the body as a form intersected this transportation. The work literally became about the figure and ground relationship where harsh light seemed to embed the bodies into the landscape, creating a sense that they have been forced to inhabit this space.
Melbourne was once a sleepy city, all but closed after working hours but now its pace is intensifying. City life here resembles life in all the big cities of the world and is lived at a frantic pace. People at this intersection are running in all directions. Perhaps it’s a good idea to simply freeze a moment in time, preserve it like castes of bodies from Pompei and find some time for reflection on what it means to live in this city.