Veronica O'Leary - 'Swept Away'

 Wednesday 13 September - Sunday 1 October 2017


“The paintings in Swept Away have come as a result of two extended periods living and working on the small and isolated King Island in the Bass Strait.

The island is, for me, one of inspiration with its history of tragic shipwrecks and the story of the sealers’ decimation of the sea elephants. It is a compelling place, ringed in jagged rock where orange lichen caps lines of quartz tipped reef and headlands are painted in hues of black and grey. Sand dunes loom over stretches of beach and in the gales, remnant tea trees lie crooked and weary in the paddocks.

King Island is a painter’s paradise. The Roaring Forties stretch the clouds into ever changing patterns and at dusk a sky of deep indigo and cerulean hangs over the land.

I have painted the island’s moods in layers and hope to suggest in them not a literal landscape but one of mood. These are images of place, of land, sea and sky rubbing off on our mind. They suggest remoteness; hinting at notions of vulnerability and temporality. They explore the elemental forces of a remote island sitting at the edge of the Great Southern Ocean and how it affects us.”