Inspired by a deep appreciation for the natural world and the vibrant imagery of the works of early artists, explorers and natural historians, Philip Davey’s new exhibition Nature and Science continues his exploration into notions of place, time, perception, discovery and loss.
Davey elegantly interweaves concepts and physical elements from the works of Colonial artists into his own landscape paintings, which have been developed and refined throughout his many years as an en plein air painter.
The sense of seeing a landscape for the first time, of experiencing its foreignness, its wild beauty and untamed majesty are tangible in these works. Abundant with exuberant colour and life, Davey’s works masterfully juxtapose images from colonial to contemporary.
In these paintings Davey recreates motifs from the works of the First Fleet painters, including George Raper, the Port Jackson Painter, Benjamin Duterrau and John Lewin, and is inspired by Frans Snyders’ iconic painting A Concert of Birds (1630). Images of luminous Arctic icebergs floating in the distance poignantly reflect the notion of what was once a pristine landscape, unmarred by human activity and the Industrial world.
To experience these paintings is to see familiar landscapes and species with entirely fresh eyes, as if discovering their magnificence for the first time and at once becoming aware of our impact on, and relationship with them. Nature and Science showcases large scale paintings, smaller studies and a series of ceramic sculptures.
Painter, ceramicist, draughtsman and printmaker Philip Davey was born in England, arriving in Australia in …