British Sheep Breeds
image: Scottish Blackface 2009 watercolour on paper (private collection)
A series of watercolour paintings of some of the British breeds of sheep by Australian artist, Christine Porter, created as a result of her 2007 McGregor Fellowship trip to the UK. The paintings were exhibited at the Toowoomba Regional Gallery in Jan 2008, The Moree Gallery April 2008, and at the Royal Highland Show, in Edinburgh in June 2008, where Christine was the official guest international artist of the Scottish branch of the National Sheep Association.
The catalogue writing from the Toowoomba exhibition describes how the sheep portraits became part of the emigration story, at the same time being quite simply paintings of some of the sheep she’d encountered. She writes: The seven day Hadrian’s Wall walk , from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the east to the Solway Firth in the west, is 165 km, crosses land farmed for more than two thousand years. The pattern of fields of improved pasture, grazing the ovine and the docile, fenced and hedged and walled, seemed repeated all over the UK; not once in the three months of my trip was I out of sight of fence or house or town. My walk became inevitably a meditation on both Roman and British colonisation and led
me to consider those patterns of repeated emigration within my own family that placed me, suddenly, where my ancestors had been re-placed from…This series of paintings, individual sheep that stand in for all the once native elements of this once wild place, describes how generations, nay, tens-of-thousands of generations of invaders, landholders and city-dwellers have subjugated the wild there, resulting in the land as a palimpsest; native stock as exotic and a people tucked safely away in their houses, warm and protected from “nature”. Christine Porter Toowoomba 2008
All the paintings from this series have sold, however in 2008 Christine created a multi plate colour etching of a small Swaledale lamb to complement the paintings. There are some still available from this edition. More information about lamb etchings and Full Moon Publications have published three of the sheep images as a set of blank greeting cards. more information about sheep cards
This is a small collection of the work from this series which has sold into private collections in Australia and the UK. Contact Christine if you have a breed of sheep you’d like her to see.