Poppy field 2002
oil on synthetic polymer paint on board
60.0 X 90.0 cm
PF Gina, in terms of artists who have joined the collection, or joined
the family, or whatever it might be, is certainly the last at the end of a long
PF Gina, in terms of artists who have joined the collection, or joined the family, or whatever it might be, is certainly the last at the end of a long line. Somebody had rung me; an artist friend of mine who had judged a competition, and hadn’t awarded Gina the main prize, but had rung me to say ‘You should get out there; there’s something there that’s you’.
And I went to an enormously large… I think nearly six hundred works in this exhibition held at the Casula Powerhouse, and I walked into the space and bang! There was this poppy piece; luminous, large, crying out amongst this host of landscapes, and personal dilemmas, and dioramas… and here was this piece that was just so lovingly beautiful. Yes, they were poppies, but they were something else. They were just so much an elemental flower, without being anything. They were quite magical; I mean, I really didn’t respond to them as poppies, but they were just as if you had stepped into some Arcadian field, and the Gods and the pan pipes were all there, and I think piping too out of the Western Suburbs of Sydney, much maligned as they are, was this object of extraordinary light, and lightness, the whole lightness of being, and I was absolutely hooked.
And Gina’s work has gone on to look at more serious subjects of late, but in this particular painting is (such) a delicacy of touch that many, many artist friends of mine can’t believe that it has been painted.
There’s not a mark out of place on it. You can smell the flowers breathing. I always remember Keats’ great poem about spring. And this has got this moment of new life, but as we are reminded by Keats:
The flower will fade
And the scythe will go through the paddock.
But this to me is just a wonderful celebration about life and its potential for great beauty, and with all those buds still to come out, still more and more, it’s just such a wonderful celebration.