Remembering How to Fly
Miniature paintings and drawings in a variety of styles and painting techniques, using the motif of Australian, exotic and imagined birds, by Australian artist Christine Porter. Acrylic and pencil on board, 2.9 x 2.9cm (approx. 1 inch square).
artist statement I
My kind of short story has a strong affinity with the novel; its scale is different but its internal proportions, the relative parts played by dialogue, narrative, description, are alike and make the two read alike. Kingsley Amis The Amis Story Anthology Hutchison London 1992 P1
After three very successful exhibitions in Goondiwindi, Bangalow and Moree, (plus other studio door sales) there are only approximately 100 paintings left from the original 700+ that were created. These works are at Christine’s studio/gallery in East Lismore. The selection of paintings below include some that have sold. Please contact Christine directly for more information.
The paintings are mounted on painted 3mm board backing. Overall size: 9.5 x 9.5 x 1.4 cm including the artwork. The hanging system lets the work hang flat on the wall, and allows for easy framing.
Artist Statement II
I’m sitting on the verandah of the shearers’ quarters on a sheep and cattle property just west of Tenterfield. I’m here to prepare for my next exhibition of rural paintings due to be exhibited June 2010. As well as beginning paintings and drawings of the shearing shed and quarters, I’ve also been photographing some fairy wrens in the pepper tree near the old tobacco barns, and magpies in the sheep yards, for use as source material for a series of bird paintings that I’ve been experimenting with this last six months.
My oldest friend had asked me to create an artwork for someone who was important to her. We decided on a picture of a tree, with some small drawings of the birds that were to symbolise the people flying in and out of her friend’s home. I enjoyed making those small drawings so much, I kept making more.
My art practice is one of precision: the site specific accuracy of the rural paintings that I’ve been exhibiting since 1984; the breed specific detail in the British sheep breeds series shown in Edinburgh last year; the precision of the printmaking techniques I use; the importance of each loaded word of theory associated with a university degree in visual arts. The small paintings and drawings of birds, evolving like a series of postcards became an exploration of The Picture. I used the scientific illustrations of Peter Slater as a source initially, then my own photos, but in each case, from the beginning I was led by both my imagination and how the picture was changing in front of me. It’s been a wonderful adventure.
I look up from my drawing: my eye caught by a movement above me. A bird has just stepped from the verandah roof and swooped off between the trees towards the shed. I wonder what it would be like to be able to fly. I imagine joy and freedom. I realise that’s how I feel when I paint. The bird images I’ve been using to explore pictorial variety have become themselves a symbol for the creative moment that turns a blank page into a work of art. Then I realise that I’ve been flying all along, even while attending to the visual truths of place and the convolutions of truth academised.
I’ve remembered how to fly.
Christine Porter Roseneath Station, Tenterfield, August 2009