Plein-air
Curated by Bree Claffey
2017
Mr Kitly gallery

Andrew Seward
Eugene Howard
Kate Hill
Pia Murphy
Mary Tonkin
Mick Turner
Paul Williams

plein-air
plɛn ˈɛː,French plɛn ɛʀ/

1. designating, of, or in the manner of certain schools of French impressionis painting of the late 19th cent., engaged mainly in representing observed effects of outdoor light and atmosphere

2. C19: from French phrase en plein air in the open (literally: full) air




Place, environment and care underpin my practice, and painting acts as one of the simplest, potent ways to engage with these notions through open air landscape painting (en plein air).

Painting in the open is relevant and powerful; it is a unique way to dedicate time to learning place. The act of sitting and travelling the landscape with your gaze reveals so much about the way places operate and exist, whilst illuminating our own position in the landscape, dislodging anthropocentric mindsets and habituating constant appraisal of our agency in the 
'scheme of things'. The colonial lineage of this gaze is real and present, a lineage which includes historical practices of utilising painting as a tool for surveying land that did not belong to invaders and a method to interpret the environment for Imperial gains; folding open air painting into a contemporary practice demands deep consideration of what/how we paint and the slippery slope into sticky romanticising. Yet, I see incredible value in deploying this method for 'painting place' as a way to grow a deeper knowing of place, whilst subverting colonial tools of the past into a method for engendering an ethic of care and genuine connectedness to place.



This is Wurundjeri land and I pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, whilst acknowledging that sovereignty has never been ceded. These paintings were made on Bpangerang and Yorta Yorta land, thank you to Uncle Freddy Dowling for guidance with titling and permissions to use Bpangerang language.







The Ovens (Torryong) valley from the Warby (Bpangerang) Ranges I, 2017
Watercolour and mineral pigment on paper , framed
40.5cm x 32.5cm


The Ovens (Torryong) valley from the Warby (Bpangerang) Ranges II, 2017
Watercolour and mineral pigment on paper, framed
40.5cm x 32.5cm