Painting Migration

Garry Nichols, Tracks of the Water Witch, 1992 oil on linen 82 x 122

Tasmanian born, New York based Garry Nichols’ paintings are rich and mysterious. He uses symbols and images, which are loosely connected to his own personal and family history of migration, alongside the colours and vegetation of Australia. In his best work he makes certain shapes and objects more generalised and less recognisable. Or, to be more precise, some elements might be thought immediately recognisable, but once you are some way into looking at the painting, you realise you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. For example some of the forms contained in Tracks of the Water Witch (above) may represent leaves or may be derived from Celtic rock carvings. Or may be something else. There’s also a nice play between surface and depth, as well as image, abstraction and semi abstraction going on in much of his work, and these ambiguities make the work interesting. More on Garry Nichols here.

Posted by Kevin Mooney.

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