SHEEP, CATTLE, HORSES

Christine Porter photo by Gail Galloway

description

Australian artist Christine Porter in her journey as a “serial artist-in-residence” throughout rural and regional Australia since 1984, has built an art practice about the sheep and wool industries. She also makes artwork about cattle, and occasionally horses. artist photo: “I might be painting sheds but in the background are always the sheep by Gail Galloway. 

background

'Down at the yards' 1990 watercolour on bristol board 65x34cm Christine Porter“There are some sheep in the yard you might be interested in…”
In 1990, Christine had been painting woolsheds for some time, along with the occasional attendant livestock, when Richard Bagshaw rang up one morning. ” There are some sheep in the yards you might be interested in”, he said. New enthusiasm engendered by what she saw that morning; the dust, backlighting, and a “bristol” board surface to paint on instead of traditional paper, resulted in a body of work that meant that for some time then, back at the beginning, Christine was known as a painter of sheep. The first sheep paintings had dated from before she left teaching – 6 years before this phone call, when a holiday during shearing at “Abbotsford”, Hughenden gave her a first-hand look at what would develop into a career-long fascination.  It was a few years later when the phone rang again – ” there are some cows and calves in the yards,” Richard said. “Are you interested in having a look at them, seeing as how you liked the sheep so much…?’ Work from that series graces the shire council collection in Barcaldine and private collections Australia-wide. The cattle and sheep are a subject she returns to as the inspiration strikes, part of the story of the grazing properties she visits,'The hereford' 1995 watercolour on paper 59x45cm Christine Porter as well as being subjects in their own right.
image left: ‘Down at the Yards’ 1990, watercolour on bristol board, 65x34cm private collection. right: ‘The Hereford’ 1995 watercolour on paper 59x45cm collection of Barcaldine Shire Council.

Sheep

1930_albumBritish Breeds In 2007-8 Christine travelled to the UK as the University of Southern Qld McGregor Fellow. While she was there she made artwork about, amongst other things, the sheep she saw there. This series was exhibited in Edinburgh, the Toowoomba Regional Gallery, and The Moree Gallery in three exhibitions in 2008.

'ewe' 2015 acrylic on board 9x9cm Christine Porter2015 sheep – acrylic on board. This is a series of small acrylic paintings on board that celebrates the variety of sheep in Australia now.

cp-random-sheepTo be continued – Christine will continue to create art work about the sheep she encounters in her travels. Watch this space !

 

selected archive

This is a small collection of some of the sheep paintings that have been sold into private and corporate collections Australia-wide. Some have been made into greeting cards. More information.

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Lady in Waiting‘ 2007. watercolour on paper .Sold private collection. Available as greeting card.
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‘wee lamb‘ 2007. watercolour on paper .Sold private collection. Available as greeting card.
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‘ewe’ 2009 watercolour and body colour 8x6cm Sold private collection
'Lamb' 2012 watercolour on paper 50x40cm Sold private collection
‘Lamb’ 2012 watercolour on paper 60x40cm Sold private collection

 

 

Cattle

artist statement

Sometimes, in my  journey as a “serial-artist-in-residence” I am there to paint the shed, sometimes there’s sheep in the paddock, or cattle in the yards. Sometimes they become part of the project . Sometimes they become a project all of their own. Sometimes it’s just about what they look like. The shape, the colour, the tone, the contrast, the composition. Sometimes it’s about the painting before it’s about the subject. That’s what being an artist is about. It’s not about making something because it might sell, or because it’ll look good with the sofa. It’s about what makes your heart feel like it’s coming into land at Barcaldine airport, in the middle of summer, in the oldest DC3 in the fleet. You’re not really sure if you are going to make it, and all you can think about when you land, moments after your lunch wants to, is that at the Royal Easter Show people pay good money for experiences like this.
Christine Porter 145 17’13″E, 22  33’24″S

available artwork

wagyu-sketch-watercolour-on-paper-15x15cm-by-christine-porter-collection-of-the-artist

At the time of writing there is a major cattle project in the planning stages, so there aren’t too many paintings available.  Watch this space for more news about this rather exciting project which hopefully will hopefully be exhibited 2017-18. Contact us if you would like  more information about this exhibition closer to the time. image: ‘Wagyu field sketch‘ 2016 watercolour on paper 14x14cm Collection of the artist

selected archive

These works have been sold and are now in public, corporate and private collections worldwide. This is only a very small selection of the paintings that have sold from this series.

mob-2009-watercolour-on-paper-20x20cm-christine-porter-private-collection
the mob 2009. watercolour on paper. 60x20cm sold private collection

 

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‘calf ‘ 2009, watercolour on paper 14 x 15cm. sold private collection

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‘Brahman III’  2010
watercolour on paper  14 x 15cm
SOLD private collection

 

tahlias-song-2013-acrylic-on-powdercoated-steel-saw-blade-approx-size-50cm-diameter-by-christine-porter-private-colleciton
Tahlia’s song’ 2013. acrylic on powder-coated steel saw-blade. approx size: 45cm diameter Sold private collection
Notes: It was a few months before Christmas when the young man from Rockhampton phoned to see if I could do a painting that he had an idea about for his fiance. She had cattle and was did horse-sports, and would I do a painting about them a saw blade from his uncle’s sawmill. At first I was reticent: there are a lot of bad paintings on old sawblades, especially antique pit saws. But I said I’d try. He sent the photos and the powder-coated saw-blade. After that it was just a case of designing. I enjoyed the process, and even though it not something that I want to do every day forever it was fun to take what I can do and take it to another place. And by the way – his fiance loved the work”.

 

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‘Tahlia’s Song” 2013 (Detail)

Horses

artist statement

If Australia rode on the sheep’s back, then it got there by climbing on the horse’s first. As I travel now, there’s little evidence of both the heavy horse that carved out the land, and the famous light horse that allowed for long range shepherding and that forged an Australian identity in wartime. On some places it’s not even a generation ago that the two-stroke replaced horse-power: in others it’s a distant memory. Unused blacksmith’s buildings, piles of stirrup irons, sheds full of old tack: museum sheds now, that were once a daily imperative. In nearly twenty years I’ve met only one family still using horses for everyday mustering, but I’m still meeting horse people and riders. Sportspeople, professionals within the industry, hobbyists, breeders and more, all speak of a connection that goes far beyond the pedestrian need for workhorse or speed. The horse in Australia’s history contructed our landscape: the horse in Australia’s present celebrates it. Christine Porter, Lismore, May 2012

available paintings

These works are for sale. Contact us for more information about price and availability or to book a studio visit. 
Please be aware that the painting may look slightly different on your monitor or screen.

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Box of horse-shoes’ 2010
watercolour on paper 33x27cm

 

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‘old tack’ 2010
watercolour on paper 16x19cm

 

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‘In the days before Mount Panorama‘ 2009
watercolour on paper 14x15cm

etchings

Writing this page , I suddenly realised that not only have I been skirting the edges of an actual visual representation of what I have seen of horses as they relate to the sheep, wool and cattle industries, but that in the etching series other people’s treasures”  I’ve taken the idea of the horse, and used it as a symbol to explore more ideas based artwork.

porter-remember-2011-etching

remember  2011
multi plate colour etching 6.1 x 6.6 cm
some availability

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it’s your move 2008
multi plate colour etching  5 x 4.4cm
some availability

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You can get there from here   2006
multi-plate colour etching 5.8 x 6.3 cm
sold out

available Giclee prints

Full Moon Publications have published two paintings from this series as limited edition fine art Giclee prints.

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head stalls
limited edition giclee print
image size
60 x 41 cm (approx 24x16inches)
page size 84 x 59cm (approx33x23 inches)
edition size 200
year published 2011
price $275 inccludes GST for sales within Australia
contact us to place an order
good availability

R3 Saddle

saddle
limited edition giclee print
image size
33 x 33 cm (13x13inches)
page size 54 x 50.5cm (approx 20 x 21 inches)
edition size 200
year published 2011
price $250 includes GST for sales within Australia
contact us to place an order
good availability