Lucy Vader: Field Immersion2 Nov - 26 Nov 2016
For me, the Australian land and sky present illuminated abstract colour fields.
Out in the field, in my subject, immersion is absolute. Sky to land, animal to surrounds, self to subject, colour-fields blend together. An immersion in the fields, both figurative and literal, are at play in my compositions.
There is a vastness and stillness to the Australian landscape that implores awe, respect, romance, and even trepidation. On my travels and walks through our rural terrain I am transfixed by the sublime beauty around me, sometimes so much so, that I have to look away.
The illuminated edges of grazing sheep at dusk and dawn fixes my attention. The skies that soar infinitely overhead urge me to investigate how to impart that infiniteness. Paddocks are fields of colour and texture, and rain-soaked skies well up in purple-grey balls ready to weep over ridiculous iridescent green-ness. Whilst elsewhere drought-struck flats reach out endlessly into rippling heat shimmers, aching.
Compositionally, my thought processes are abstract, in that I see the world as colours, feelings, and shapes, yet the resulting work is representational. The process between a thought to commence a painting and the final product is one in which initially, I will be struck by an abstract feeling in response to the landscape around me, and then in the studio, I will seek to recreate that feeling in my work representationally.
Elements I absolve to incorporate into my work may be a gloaming dusk with a silhouette of trees and two proud palms I see fleetingly but later revisit me in a surge of transcendence. It may be light casting across the sky as rain builds, level horizons, and the dispersal of animals in colour fields that are at once vertical yet deep.
The more I have painted the Australian landscape and its animals, the more it is revealed to me as a visual abstraction, and I enjoy the process of adjusting my eyes to shift from depth and perspective to lateral or vertical, and then to return again to a sense of layered horizontal perspectival plains.
My scenes have merged between my country and coastal studios, and, to my surprise, the forms of Friesian cattle have now found their way into my figurative vocabulary, accompanying Black Angus cattle and their staunch forms, my lovingly ubiquitous Australian sheep, and the odd Hunter Valley deer.
I am always in search of the feeling, or physical response, for a work that elevates my senses and reminds me how important art is to the enhancement of our lives.
Lucy Vader, Millers Creek Station, NSW, October 2016
About the Artist
Unsurprisingly for someone whose family has farmed for generations, Lucy Vader conveys a landscape that has been both seen and felt. She applies paint in thick, sumptuous layers blurring the boundary between abstraction and representation. Stand close to one of Vader’s works and her brushstrokes draw you into a richly textured world of deep colours – green, yellow, red and blue. Move away from the canvas and wide, grassy paddocks emerge, frequently populated by sheep – golden and camouflaged against parched yellow land, or with bright white fleeces that contrast with rain-restored grass. Vader’s sheep graze, run off or just look inscrutable, contributing a light-heartedness for which she has become known.
Vader has degrees in both Fine Art and Architecture. She is also an accomplished sculptor and has exhibited in Sculpture by the Sea.