The Disappearance of the Australian Backyard
Living in one of Australia's seaside suburbs the traditional landscape has become an important subject matter for my artistic practice. The suburban sprawl has seen developers squeeze two story townhouses on smaller lots, at the expense of the "Traditional Australian Backyard". Homes are packed in and butted up against one another. There is a sense of loss, we are losing our backyards.
Nostalgic childhood memories of backyard birthday parties, barbeques, hills-hoists, swings, trampolines and picnics were all a part of growing up in the suburbs. We were encircled by nature, gardens, trees, vegetable patches and imagined adventures. All of this is slowly disappearing.
The Disappearance of the Australian Backyard series signifies this sense of loss. Working with a telescopic layering effect, using oil paints on canvas, within the constraints of the focusing circle, the construction and deconstruction of this space is my primary focus.
This body of work is a voyeuristic glimpse back to the something familiar, the personal space of the backyard which is slowly disappearing into distant memories.
I painted this artwork of Olivers Hill as a young girl. It was a gift for my mothers birthday and if you look down in the parking lot you can see her Orange VW parked near the beach. She still has this painting hanging in her home in Byron Bay. We lived up on the hill and this was our view. It doesn't surprise me that after living abroad for twenty years I would end up back on the Hill painting the exact same view. Like they say, "There is no place like home". I swore as a young girl I would never come back to dreary Mornington Peninsula, and now I could not contemplate living anywhere else in this world.