12 September – 25 October, 2015
You are invited to the Exhibition Opening of new works by David Voigt
Saturday 12th September 2015 at 2pm in the Octagon ArtSpace
Opening by Pamela Griffith Artist-Printmaker
RETURN TO WILDERNESS
David Voigt has been painting his personal brand of Australian wilderness for fifty years. This began with a budding artist’s emphasis on light – that most essential element for any landscape artist – as indeed it is to life itself.
His earliest works revealed a straightforward representation of the landscape, but soon evolved into his trademark non-representational style of viewing it. The geometrically sliced light-enhancing sections are bathed in fragments of traditional elements such as trees, atmospheric rock formations, dramatic skies and lively waterways – both estuarine and oceanic. The fractured works gave vent to personal depictions of perceived variations in the values of light.
Throwing aside general concerns of imposed tags, he ignored terminologies that people tended to lay before him, relying on his closely held belief of being passionately confident in what he was doing. He formed an intense interest in flowers and developed a highly successful series of what he termed – with tongue firmly planted in cheek – his “floral period.”
David stuck with his idea of being true to himself, pursuing an honest approach to painting based on what he felt – rather than manufacturing a feel to meet a market or trend.
In his formative art-student years he developed an early passion for the work of Pablo Picasso, and even further back to the works of Turner. He perceived both artists as being one hundred percent true to their beliefs. “Turner was free well before the French Impressionists.”
“I’m trying to get involved in packing as much visual information into a small part of the natural world.” In Whispering Plain grass stalks bend defiantly in the treeless, windswept snow country of the Kiandra High Plains.
An unfortunate recent turn of events led to three years away from painting, further tying him to the decision on the smaller size of a number of these new works. His physical restrictions almost forbid a return to his love for extra large format paintings – a major part of a long, commercially successful and major prizewinning career.
“I still do a few simpler geometric elements, but more as an integral part of the landscape rather than dominating it – a lot of little hard edges married to a freer landscape. It basically enhances the composition – and reinforces the strong movements of the colour fragments – emphasising the highlights.”
“To be honest I found it very difficult to get into smaller paintings. I really have to discipline myself. Now that I’m able to get back to work I’d like to make a new statement.”
A small painting on a large studio wall can become a major work in a smaller domestic situation: such as the individual room of a modern apartment or town house. Combined with the right frame it can make for a stronger whole, and a more dramatic piece. Often the frame will draw the viewer into the work.
This return to wilderness is fanning the development of further ideas for smaller, more detailed elements of composition and subject matter. For example, in Clinkers Rest he is looking at “clinker” built boats, based on past fishing experiences on one of his favourite waterways: the Clyde River that rises in the Budawang National Park.
There is a complex visual relationship to be explored between nature and the shadowed edges and sensuous curves of the clinker planks used in the boat’s construction.
The Clyde is one of the few South or North Coast rivers still bounded by high, timbered and rugged hills: not predominantly by rural flood plains. A true wilderness: perhaps not as dramatic as other places in the world but a visual wilderness just the same.
Return to Wilderness heralds a very welcome return by one of Australia’s most respected artists to his art and to Bungendore Wood Works Gallery. At the same time he is revisiting – and at times making a smaller scale artistic investigation of – familiar landscapes.
With over 120 solo exhibitions, spanning five decades, David Voigt continues to produce passionate, highly skilled and visually stunning representations of the contemporary Australian landscape.
Stan d’Argeavel MAVA Exhibition Coordinator
Descending Secret Realms 180x70cm
Storm Front 65x50cm