Small is Beautiful
WHEN THE FIRST photographic plates were invented during the Industrial Age and the art of photography began to take hold, classical French history painter Paul Delaroche declared “From today, painting is dead.” Almost two centuries later we know that painting never died, but has reinvented itself with changing times ever since.
Art may have redefined itself beyond classical forms, however traditional techniques and expertise can still evoke an allure and sense of wonder imparted through the play of light and shadow, stillness and perfection, the sheer beauty of representing the subject.
Working in oils on board, Steve Gough (Darwin River) and Matthew Mainsbridge (Sydney ex Darwin) use traditional glazing techniques to capture the essence of time and subject. Gough makes direct reference to Claude Lorrain, using an ephemeral Top End Landscape, in all its tendencies, as the scenes for his work.
Matthew Mainsbridge is inspired by natural forms; capturing their essence through light, stillness, and the meditation on a single object.
Although their work makes reference to the sublime classicism of landscape and still life painting, unlike the large-scale history paintings we see in our State galleries, Gough and Mainsbridge work on a petite scale, well suited to the finesse and care exhibited in these works. Small is beautiful.