2012 Luminous

Sheffer Gallery, Darlington

Luminous is a collection of images from cycling around the Sydney Green Ring at my favourite time of day, the liminal time between day and night. There is beauty and hope in the suburbs if you know where and how to look for it. The Sydney Green Ring is a side project I have been steering since 2003.


Personal mobility represented by the bicycle maps effortlessly onto sense of place and genius loci. Exercise in most forms benefits the brain - healthy body equals healthy mind - something known to science since David Krech began his experiments with lab rats, enriched environments and neurogenesis in the mid 1950s. More recently Dr Mark Mattson with the benefit of developments in neurobiology and attendent technologies such as fMRI machines and enhanced computing, has shown how fasting and/or exercise benefit resilience and regenerate brain matter.  

I had begun searching out picaresque vistas that alluded to John Constable - a backhanded reference to my maternal Grandfather's admonition to me as a fine art undergrad, that I should, "cut your hair, get rid of those earrings and join the police". As evidence of the parallel narratives governing and mediating my perceived intentions, and recapitulating his admonitions, I shaved my hair, pierced my nipples, and dove headlong into the roots of the English landscape tradition beginning with the venerable Constable and landing fair square in the lap of Augustus Earle, Conrad Martens, and Samuel Elyard.

There is another landscape tradition that fascinates me these days, described in part by Val Attenbrow, Grace Karskens, Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe, that also maps seamlessly onto a sense of place and the genius loci. It is contained in the memory journey techniques of ancient wisdoms, popularised by science journalist Joshua Foer, and more fully described by Frances Yates and laterly by Lynne Kelly.


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E1 gilbert@gilbertgrace.com

E2: info@artcyclesydney.com

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