Libby Edwards Galleries & Art Consultancy

Rosalie Gascoigne

For a long time, artists saw the landscape as  populated with gum trees.  Then Fred Williams transferred that typography, of gum trees and  open-ness, to another visual shorthand of splodges, and flourishes. Then closely following in his footsteps, we descended into a kitsch exuberance of codifying the Australian landscape into something of a self-conscious reflection, in which the likes of Pro Hart and John Olsen, grabbed the template (and suppositions left by Drysdale and Nolan) to embark on an explosion of over-sized affirmations.  

 

So whilst Australian artists were out-competing themselves to produce outrageously over-blown pastiches, another artist went about reducing the portrayal of the landscape, the peculiarities of the australian landscape, into another kind of code. One that stripped back the pretention of figurative and landscape painting and more closely than any other approximation, literally nailed the realm into a sub-digital  code. Gascoyne’s, Banana Yellow” may be a sparse depiction of a banana plantation? It is composed of fragments, cut and pasted together. Doesnt matter, its enigmatic and sparse. Just like the interior of the wide brown land. But superbly, it avoides the use of Cliche. For that, she deserves recognition as a gold medallist. She established truth and reality once again, and asked a very simple question. The way we see the landacape is completely conditioned by our material physical selves, and, in the end, we have a landscape constructed from the miscellany of all that is around us? And it ain’t Gum Trees.  In her case, fruit, or famously, soft drink boxes, reconfigured and rendered large. With an economy and delight that took it beyond the banal.