‘Kakadu’ – an artist’s perspective

You’ll find scenes of Kakadu in Brisbane this month at an exhibition including work by local, Peter Hudson

You’ll find scenes of Kakadu in Brisbane this month at an exhibition including work by local, Peter Hudson

Maleny local, Peter Hudson and four other renowned Australian artists travelled to Kakadu in the Northern Territory to participate in an artist’s camp.

As it has since transpired, it is the same site where recently found artefacts show that Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for 65,000 years – 18,000 years longer than previously estimated.

Born in the Northern Territory, Mike Mitchell, Director of Mitchell Fine Art, organised the trip to showcase to these artists some of the most exquisite landscape that Australia has to offer. It also provided the opportunity for them to connect with the world’s oldest living culture.

Travelling to western Arnhem Land the group spent time with traditional owners and their families exploring the country, visiting rarely seen rock art and scenery, and learning about the area and the immense significance of country for the local Aboriginal people.

What followed was a week of plein air painting (French for painting outdoors) in and around Arnhem Land. It resulted in a body of work that is an immediate reaction to the landscape, a painterly response to the experiences and observations of the world’s oldest culture in a place unchanged over thousands of years.

Sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking a billabong, as a three metre crocodile leisurely cruises past, evokes images of a lifestyle and culture that goes beyond recorded memory. Rock art that depicts Thylacines (Tasmanian Tigers), ceremony and the mail plane from the 1930s shows a pictorial history of the area.

This all had a profound effect of this group of artists, including Steve Lopes, Euan Macleod, Franck Gohier and Christine Christophersen and is reflected in the artworks produced.

The exhibition ‘Kakadu’ is showing at Mitchell Fine Art, 86 Arthur St Fortitude Valley, Brisbane until September 23.

The gallery can be followed on Facebook or Instagram or sign up to the gallery’s mailing list via www.mitchellfineartgallery.com.