New work – the Pilliga series

Regrowth Incarnadine, April 2024
Oil on canvas, 66cm x 66cm

Deep in the Forest, May 2024
Oil on canvas, 36cm x 56cm

Tangle of Scrub, April 2024
Oil on canvas, 138cm x 168cm

Falling Embers, February 2024
Oil on canvas, 36cm x 112cm

Pilliga Country, January 2024
Oil on canvas, 97cm x 168cm

Pilliga Wetland, April 2023
Oil on canvas, 97cm x 168cm

Scrub Study XVI, February 2024
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Scrub Study XV, February 2024
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Scrub Study XVII, February 2024
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

The Simmering Sky, March 2024
Oil on canvas, 66cm x 66cm

Scrub Study XIV, February 2024
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Scrub Study XIII, February 2024
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Fire in the Pilliga, December 2023
Watercolour, ink and charcoal, 97cm x 56cm

Tenacious Ironbark, July 2023
Oil on canvas, 66cm x 66cm

Early Bright, August 2023
Oil on canvas, 66cm x 66cm

Dawn Light in Summer, February 2023
Oil on canvas, 66cm x 66cm

Last Light on Ironbarks, August 2023
Oil on canvas, 66cm x 66cm

Scrub Study XI, December 2023
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Scrub Study XII, December 2023
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Scrub Study VIII, August 2023
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Scrub Study IV, June 2023
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm

Scrub Study V, June 2023
Oil and pencil on board
20cm x 20cm (SOLD)

Winter Light in the Forest, May2023
Oil on canvas, 36cm x 56cm

Curved Ironbark, May2023
Oil on canvas, 56cm x 36cm

Sedges and Rushes Along Coghill Creek, April 2023
Oil on canvas, 56cm x 36cm (SOLD)

Duck Creek Fire, December 2023
Oil on canvas, 36cm x 56cm

The LookoutsII, July 2023
Oil on canvas, 51cm x 51cm

Evening Falls, November 2023
Oil on canvas, 76cm x 112cm

The Indomitable Scrub, July 2023
Oil on canvas, 97cm x 168cm

Sunshine and Scrub, July 2022
Oil on canvas, 51cm x 86cm

Cathedral of Trees, August 2022
Oil on canvas, 51cm x 86cm (SOLD)

The Lookouts, Kerringle Forest, February 2022
Oil on canvas, 51cm x 86cm (SOLD)

Flannel Flowers in the Scrub, December 2022
Oil on canvas, 101cm x 101cm (SOLD)

Sanctum, August2023
Oil on canvas, 101cm x 101cm

The Fiery Glow of the Setting Sun, October 2022
Oil on canvas, 101cm x 101cm

The Pilliga and Family Lore, December 2021
Ink on paper, 78cm x 62cm (SOLD)

Min Min Lights in the Pilliga, January 2023
Oil on canvas, 97cm x 168cm

The Pilliga Scrub is an ancient and wild, semi-arid woodland covering more than 3,000 square kilometres in north-western NSW. Teeming with wildlife, this unusual remnant woodland is characterised by white and black cypress pine and ironbark forests. In the summer heat, the forest is dry with strongly contrasting light and shadows making it seem ominous and impenetrable. During wet times there are waterholes everywhere, and the forest floor is lush with greenery and covered in wildflowers.

My family history includes a strong connection to the Pilliga. As a child, I became fascinated by my great grandmother’s tales of her young life growing up with her aboriginal mother in a bark hut on the edge of the scrub, with stories of bushrangers, wild horses, bush tucker and deadly fires and floods. My father became lost in the Pilliga for two days as a young man, the overcast sky and thick bush making it hard for him and his uncle to find their bearings. This story particularly fascinated me, and when we would go for family trips out to collect firewood (in the days when the sleeper cutters were still working in the forest), I would always be fearful of wandering off too far to explore.

Some may view the Pilliga Scrub as a rather ugly place but there is so much beauty to be found when you stop and take the time to look closely.  There are plans to further develop controversial coal seam gas fields in the area – the Wilderness Society says:

“At the heart of an agrarian landscape long since cleared of vegetation lies half a million hectares of rare intact temperate eucalypt woodland. The Pilliga forest.

On the sacred land of the Gamilaraay peoples, the Pilliga Forest is a unique and ancient place, a biodiversity hotspot like nowhere else in the world. It feeds clean water into the Great Artesian Basin—the crucial life support system for much of inland Australia. It’s here that the company Santos plans to build its Narrabri Gas Project, which will see up to 850 coal seam gas (CSG) wells drilled into this ancient landscape. At 95,000 hectares, Santos’ project is the largest, by land area, ever proposed in NSW. It would be 38 times the size of the City of Sydney.”  [The Pilliga | Wilderness Society]

In December 2021 I started a new series of work exploring the Pilliga.  The season so far has been very wet and I have ventured out on day trips to explore where I can (given the poor road conditions). Check back soon to see how it’s going!