The rooftop and powerpole paintings started when I wanted to photograph the Balmain village but there were too many obstructions and clutter, so I looked up. Do you ever look up at the sky, see blue and feel a tremendous sense of space and freedom?
What I find fascinating in looking up, is that there is a whole new visual panorama that would otherwise go unnoticed.
The current series of these paintings are views from the local villages of Balmain and Rozelle. Many are untouched by renovation and signage, retain their original character and are surprising little affected by the elements.
It’s not a new thing. Many artists paint rooftops. Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) and Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) painted rooftops. Picasso created a series of Barcelona rooftops in 1902-3. The American painter, Edward Hopper (1882-1967) known as a pictorial poet who recorded the starkness and vastness of America, liked both urban and barn roofs in the 1920s and 30s. And contemporary artists too are inspired by man made angles and light playing against the sky.
Powerpoles look messy and dinosaur-like with their unerving tangled-looking wires, as if they belong in another time. Yet they are surprising efficient. If you observe them, you will discover the individuality of power poles — no two are ever the same. Those tangles of wires and some knarled old wooden poles are a never diminishing source of inspiration. Of course the technology is rapidly changing and new poles are fitted with sophisticated solar powered data loggers that sit on the lines, reporting line faults and fluctuations etc. But the old timber poles are aging beautifully and will be here for quite a time yet. I hope.
Click an image for details.