In Down to the Water, Paul builds on his previous exhibition at Saint Cloche in February 2019, Harbour’s Edge, and continues his exploration of coastal walks of Sydney. Perfect timing, with so many of us reconnecting with nature right now and spending time exercising outdoors during physical distancing. Paul’s expeditions throughout Sydney Harbour’s estuaries, inlets and bays eternally revitalise his artist’s eye.
“Discovering new landscapes has become an extremely important part of my work.” – Paul Maher
As a habitual sketcher, the core of Paul’s artistic practise centres on observing the landscape, built environment and in this instance, urban coastal landscape. The process toward the finished painting always begins with a spur-of-the- moment ‘rough’ on paper.
“My paintings draw on a textured experience of nature – its moods and elemental sensations. The expressive sweeps of energy also chart my movements within the landscape, either on foot or by ferry. In this exhibition, I have focused on the deep inlet of Mosman Bay and the observational viewpoints found on its steep, vegetated ridge lines. I also branched further north to navigate the open body of Pittwater, with its sheltered beaches and idiosyncratic boat ramps and boat sheds.
At times these works deliberately dance between abstraction and representation. Compositions are derived from on- site sketches that are distilled into geometric forms and vegetation into delicately linear patterns. The paint is applied with speed and once put down, allowed to breath and crystallised on the surface.
I enjoy painting landscapes that inspire me, and I often find the right combination of built form and the natural environment around the Harbour. The spontaneous sketches I bring back to the studio contain something of the spirit of the place.”
PDF Catalogue (2.2mb): Click here to view
Exhibition Video Walkthrough: Watch on IGTV
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