About the Exhibition
Beyond first impression – See Canberra and Die could mean ‘Canberra is such a beautiful place you must
see it before you die’. The paintings in this exhibition suggest Canberra is more layered
than it first appears. This exhibition contrasts two types of landscapes:
impressionistic semi-abstract, with stark metaphysical bushfire images.
become a more three dimensional place after 100 years? In Canberra the landscape is the dominant
feature; it has been contrived that way. Have you seen those unsubscribed
spaces – left alone (perhaps forgotten), where the previous environment shows
through? The smaller paintings in this exhibition reflect this balancing of
‘filled in’ with open space. The landscapes are of familiar places in Canberra which I have
chosen to paint either because of the impression they have made on me, or
because they are visually interesting. I used my mobile phone to capture a
particular place; the phone’s camera distorts the image, which I further
abstract in painting, capturing both a physical and emotional sense of the
The large paintings in this exhibition use bushfire imagery.
They are expressionistic and show people or fragments of people in a
claustrophobic, blackened landscape. The bush is a stage where things happen:
burnt-out, shot-up, at times apocalyptic and fearful. These paintings have a
spiritual dimension, titles such as The Seventh [Suburb] Seal and The Sixth Seal
suggest this. The exhibition features the painting: The Arsonist, This is How I Nurture My Soul which was in the 2012
Blake Prize (for spiritual art) Director’s Cut online exhibition.
Martin Paull 2006