Grampians (Gariwerd) V

One of the first paintings I made in Australia. This was a result of my first visit to the Grampians. Now, there are Grampians back home in Scotland, but they’re nothing like these ones, despite Major Mitchell’s contention when he named them during one of his surveying expeditions for the British Empire. I was used to hills that were green and grey and covered in cloud or snow, or both. Vistas of glaucous forest canopy that stretched to the horizon broken only by red rocky outcrops were a new experience for me, so this early response contains more bravura than my later works. Everything here was new: the heat, the light, the colours… the snakes.

Grampians V, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 180 cm
Grampians (Gariwerd) V, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 180 cm

Of course, when I say Major Mitchell named the Grampians, I mean that he re-named them for the Empire, as the complex of mountains had already been known for centuries as Gariwerd by the folks who lived there. Follow this link for more on Bunjil’s creation of the Gariwerd region.

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