When does an environment shift from being a vista, something we look at, to something visceral, something that moves us within? Here at Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery and Studio Penny Burnett resolved to be quite immediate and unedited in her painting approach. She walked each day regardless of the mountains mood and endeavoured to capture that experience in situ. This quest became problematic. How do you paint the howling wind with needle sharp snow pelting your face? Or the song of a currawong as it serenades the suns arrival and departure? Or the foreboding sensation that the trees are watching you, whispering mysteries of survival way-to selfless to understand?
Wild – Outside and Within is a dance between painterly figuration and abstraction within landscape painting. Through the application of paint, Burnett endeavoured to suspend the vulnerability and wonder of those sensations by bringing resonance to the imagery that is raw, basic, and instinctual. In some works, the materiality and chemical elements of the medium, in particular the pigment of the paint, is exposed in order to resonate with the minerals of the earth: ochre, copper, oxides and cadmium, this linkage is visceral rather than cognitive. In this exhibition the works oscillate between the two, some are Wild – Outside, the vista and some more abstract, Within.
Penny Burnett is a Tasmania-based artist whose paintings focus on our relationship with space and nature through landscape.
Formally trained in the atelier method at the National Art School in Sydney, Penny is versed in the painterly gestural language of rendering space. In 2018 she completed her PhD at the University of Tasmania, where she now teaches.
Penny Burnett has an active art practice and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2018 she was the winner of the Bay of Fires Art Prize and represented Tasmania in the inaugural cross-cultural residency between Tasmania and Jeju, South Korea.
Dr Penny Burnett is represented by Despard Gallery, Hobart.