Collective Landscape

by Alex Wisser

collective landscape rylstone

Christine McMillan, Reg Buckland, Geoff Payne, Owen James, Jude Bailey Preston, Jenny Moore, Marilyn Comer, Alisa Burlington, Gordon Smith, Shannon Pennell, Kat Brown, Darryl Brown, Judy Rasmussen, Georgina Pollard, Kate Cowden

collective landscape kandos

Georgina Pollard, Kat Brown, Darryl Brown, Fiona Macdonald, Kate Cowden, Judy Rasmussen, Carmel Spark, Mary Kavanagh, Ray Stout, Rose Evans, Terry O’Sullivan, Heather Wilson, Elwin Butler, Carol Henry, Helen Vowles

This project occurred to me when I stumbled on the Liverpool Painting Society exhibition at Casula Power House.  I was struck with the idiosyncratic singularity of style that all of the painters displayed.  It was all so strange and unique that I thought it looked like contemporary art.  It occurred to me that while contemporary art strives with great intensity to achieve singularity, singularity was also something that was unavoidable.  No matter how “conventional” a painter’s style, those idiosyncrasies of personal history, training, experience, etc would never combine to produce the same style twice, despite an artists efforts to submit themselves to a tradition. Instead of the supposed unique singularity of “genius” or originality, I wanted to celebrate the ubiquitous singularity of everyone.  The process of making these particular works began with me photographing a landscape in the viscinity of the community of artists I approached.  I then gridded the photograph and gave each artist a cell of the grid and a blank canvas.  I asked the artists to paint the cell according to their practice and asked them not to communicate with each other about the project.  I wanted to express the difference in perceptive style within a depiction of a landscape that was common to them all.  This work was exhibited in an exhibition called Collectivism at Kandos Projects in September 2013.