This exhibition of paintings seeks to re-imagine the idea of Arcadia in the Australian landscape. Arcadia is a term derived from the Ancient Greek conception of paradise or place of rustic beauty. The phrase, ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’, roughly translates as meaning – Even in Arcadia, there am I. However, even in paradise, behind the beautiful and the inspiring can be tragedy or the deeply unsettling. This notion befits the vast and isolating beauty of the Australian landscape that has beguiled and transfixed many to dream and explore its shores and plains. The paintings make direct reference to narratives that focus on the notion of being ‘lost’ either to a place or by misadventure. Peter Weir’s adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Audrey’s song, Little Molly, have been the basis for many of the paintings and influenced the direction of the series. Both references have a psychological connection to landscape and conjure imagery of people ‘lost’, whether in a physical or emotional sense, in a place of beauty within the Australian Landscape. The River, which features strongly in this series, can both intrigue and transfix in its transience and in turn, it is this pull that has led the river to be the setting for many narratives.
Peta Dzubiel 2015