Iceland

A patch of last winter’s snow is hidden in a small valley. This intensely volcanic area is formed of vividly coloured rhyolite rocks and black obsidian boulders (volcanic glass). The surface of the snow is stained black from volcanic ash from a nearby eruption.

The Iceland and Greenland exhibition was the first of the four bodies of work that would eventually comprise the Extreme Landforms Project. The artist spent a month in the region in the summer of 1983, collecting visual material.

Her previous paintings were largely from imagination, based on elements of the South Australian landscapes where she grew up, yet in Iceland the reality was even more unlikely than the previous somewhat surreal images. She felt completely at home in this extraordinary environment of Arctic glaciers and active volcanoes.

Iceland is one of the geologically newest landmasses on Earth, while nearby Greenland is one of the most ancient. Greenland is almost covered with a permanent icecap, the remnant of the last ice age.

A group of paintings was completed and exhibited first, in 1985 and 1986. The later drawings were the breakthrough, leading to the final theme of the project. All paintings are oils on linen, all drawings black conte on cream paper.