Urban Nature – the growing city 2000-2002
Urban Nature is the title of a series of paintings that document the relationship between indigenous landscapes and the construction of cities, particularly Melbourne, the city in which the artist works and lives. The images remind us of the landforms that pre-exist and co-exist with the city and argue that they be recognised, identified and documented before they are completely destroyed. Urban nature seeks to raise questions about the choices made when planning a city.
I like the idea of being close to nature even if I am very rarely in nature and have never been immersed in the environment or connected to it in profound way of an indigenous Australian. Some of the trees I paint seem vulnerable in relation to the built environment. Some of the buildings are entirely without architectural substance and cannot outlive the trees. Many Australians feel the need to paint or hang pictures of their landscape. Perhaps my work relates to this national obsession.