Exhibition: Natalie Anderson, Close To Home
This new body of work builds further on the exploration of place and country by taking a distant view of the landscapes of the ancient Barrabool Hills and the ocean that lays behind.
At its heart my art practice is driven by the desire for life long learning and a connection to country. As a self taught artist living a ‘sea affected life’ in the shadow of the ancient You Yangs, the landscape and the ocean around Geelong keeps me captivated as an artist and a seeker. I am fascinated by what Goethe called a ‘delicate empiricism’ - that transformative way of encountering the natural world and the sustained effort to understand it’s phenomena through the powers of human perception.
My interest is in immersing myself in an empathetic, persistent and direct experience of place and country. The work is a frank celebration of the Southern ocean and the Australian landscape in which I live - but it is hopefully also contemplative and questions how can we open ourselves to a greater understanding of what the natural environment has to tell us. This seems particularly urgent to me in this age of screens, the 24 hour news cycle and our obsessions with hyper-connectedness. Nature offers respite and reprieve. She urges us to suspend judgment, to abstain from pretence & analysis and just participate in ‘seeing’. Our job is to simply to lean in, absorb and breathe it in.
My work endeavours to capture elements within a landscape that are both ancient and timeless in a context of ever changing natural phenomena. It is this tension between change and timelessness that keeps me coming back to the ocean, vast plains and expansive Australian skies. I am often most focused on where the water meets the land – the shoreline or the rock ledge, where the horizon meets the sky and where light finds itself within the ocean. Whilst my paintings can be viewed as relatively literal my aim is not to paint a realistic record of the places around me but rather to document my meetings with the places themselves.