Inkjet on watercolour paper
90 x 60 centimetres
Following on from a previous work about the theme of a figure in a landscape that reflects a state of mind, The Shore loosely echoes the great early 19th century German Romanticist painting, The Monk by the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich. Friedrich’s startlingly minimalist painting, with its pared back composition of a tiny figure staring at a stormy sea with only a strip of dune anchoring the foreground, would have been too problematic as an explicit source for The Shore, hence the inclusion of the conifer, a tree which features in Friedrich's particularly moodier work, taking up a large chunk of the picture frame. Its presence is not merely a compositional device; the darkness of the foliage, the severe geometry and the pine’s habit of robbing the life of surrounding vegetation gives it a powerful presence that is not always reassuring. It is also a ubiquitous and iconic feature of the coastal areas of the south-eastern part of Australia where I live.
The theme of the print was also inspired by the observation of how commonplace it is for people to stare out to sea, comfortably cocooned from the elements in their vehicles parked in the numerous local beach front car parks. The shifting light on the water and the distant horizon offering a soothing sense of the sublime that Friedrich so often depicts, a welcome respite from the confines of suburbia.The Monk by the Sea; Caspar David Friedrich: Wikipedia