Landscape Award 2020

Robyn Litchfield

The Hollow Place

Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
92 x 68 cm

“My paintings are representations of sublime encounters with places; pristine and untouched. I draw from archival photographs and personal documents relating to the early exploration and colonisation of New Zealand aiming to reimagine and examine the experience of forays into a hitherto unknown space. I’m interested in the idea of wilderness and the unknown as a terrain of the mind and as a place that induces reflexivity.
I apply transparent paint in expressive brushstrokes and work back into it using various implements and processes such as scraping, layering and erasure to reveal the luminous ground below. The paint mimics the emulsion on the glass plates of early photographs whose images were revealed by light shining through them. I think of the ground like a screen where images are projected and perceived.

In The Hollow Place, the foreground vegetation creates a cinematic perspective allowing the viewer to feel concealed whilst observing the ancient forest luminous in the fog and gloom. I aim to create a scene that may transport the viewer back in time to the silent stillness that can be found beside the slow-moving dark waters of primeval forest.”