Polygonal City 19
Pine grove, Mornington Peninsula
Inkjet on watercolour paper
75 x 56 centimeters
Large groves of pines planted as windbreaks are a defining feature of the windswept landscape of the Mornington Peninsula, on the south-east coast of Australia. After a long, dry summer, the first autumn rain formed puddles, and looking at the darkly hued pines silhouetted against the lowering clouds, the idea for this print started to form. Although the Polygonal Cities series has the urban environment as its focus, in this exception, the rural landscape becomes a place about memory.
As work began, the elegiac 1977 Ultravox song, Hiroshima Mon Amour, stuck in my mind, and the puzzling line from the song, "... dressed in European grey" became infused into the melancholic mood the print was starting to take on. Although there is no lyrical suggestion that the landscape of Hiroshima Mon Amour is forested with pines, it is how I imagined it; sombre and silent. The figure, which came from a World War Two photograph, is like a ghost of that memory.Photo of a stand of pines at Cape Schank on the Mornington Peninsula