RAYMOND ARNOLD

Showing from Saturday 1 July until Tuesday 17 October 2017

Greg was telling me that archaeologists have found artifacts at elevations in Western Tasmanian mountains that are above historic glaciation thresholds indicating a culture existing across a large expanse of time and through extreme conditions. In making my work about the rocky terraces on Mount Lyell I was initially concerned with legacy issues of 19th century mining but following Greg’s comments I have come to view the now very familiar flinty, tumbled terrain as emblematic of a lived environment while increasingly seeing it as a symbol of the post-human world.

I began developing new etchings of some terrain on Mt Lyell, near Queenstown, which is still heavily scarred from late 19th century/early 20th century mining impacts. Plants are re-colonising the area, however, with the White Waratah, Blandfordia punicea or Christmas bells, Celery top pine and this sense of the possibility of another world, ie. one that is lost but one that might be reclaimed that I was interested in speculating on in the new work.

John Lendis, an English painter and friend, co-incidently sent me a volume of Seamus Heaney poems during this early phase of the etchings development. I found the words for a title of the new etchings in that book:

…an elsewhere world. Where can it be found again, An elsewhere world, beyond Maps and atlases,Where all is woven into And of itself, like a nest Of crosshatched grass blades?

I see the project as a way of rounding off my print oeuvre and the culmination of a lifetime’s work. I see it as a way of bringing a type of stability or balance to the array of projects and print outcomes I’ve worked on since 1977 when I made those first connections to the print medium. I see it as a palimpsest of flora, fauna and geology I encounter on daily walks with my partner Helena and our pups in the Queenstown hills. I see it as an expression of how I now live and an expression of what I love!