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Notes on Lands of Light: Lloyd Rees in Tasmania

Notes on Lands of Light: Lloyd Rees in Tasmania
Lloyd Rees, Blue Image, oil on canvas 1988. Install image. Photo credit: Rose Hastie. Blue Image is Lloyd Rees's last painting. 

I didn’t want to like this exhibition.

Which is an admission of both bias and exhaustion.

The sheer dominance and volume of landscape art in this neck of the woods[1] is something I can find deeply draining. There’s a lot and it can get quite hard to find something that says anything much new about the landscape, particularly if you find a total competent, even clever and gifted artist who is making fetching, pleasing work that works in the tradition. Like, I see some art and there’s not a thing wrong with it, it’s not poor, its just... I’m exhausted. I have seen a lot. I also get surprised and there are artists out there, working right now, who have rejuvenated and enriched me, largely because they have ejected tradition and done their best to be themselves. That happens and it’s great. I see shows and they’re well curated and that’s good too...

But, I’m still exhausted and I still have issues with it.

The biggest issue is colonialism.

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