By presenting the ‘tract’ series of Australian landscapes at a remove, enveloped within a black space (which serves as a void, a vacuum) my aim is to the present the landscape not as a ‘scene’, but as an entity, as a distinct object. Perhaps however It is not as much the land that is transported, but you the viewer, from the traditional vantage point within the vista or landscape itself.

Indeed it is such an immersive and natural experience to ‘exist’ within the painted landscape or indeed within any scene or picture, as viewer- that it is jarring and dislocating to be placed outside it, set adrift.

We are then left to contemplate the monumentality and gravity of the geological and metaphysical realities of the land mass. We are also compelled to acknowledge and ponder its fragile vulnerability and its finiteness. I wish in this way to present a unique series of distinctly Australian landscapes that challenge conventional notions of the viewer’s situation within the scene and so invite a new avenue for contemplation of the land. The tract works show, through the layered and compressed nature of an exposed geology, time descending down the millennia into prehistory.

On the surface, the ‘now’ we see the living skin, the dermis of life, in all its complex diversity, exploiting the compressed, breathable space between rock and the void. We are reminded of the fleeting and volatile nature of this living zone- that all of life, natural and man made, is played out upon this temporary ‘skin of now’. I would stress that this contemplation of the landscape at a remove seeks not to distance one from a connection to the land, rather to allow a unique and deeper appreciation of the ‘whole story’ of the landscape.

Dale Cox 2012

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