‘The River’ by Phil Stallard

Rochfort Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Phil Stallard.
The exhibition will run from 8th April – 9th May 2021.

“At the beginning of covid I closed my Sydney studio and built a primitive painting camp at the base of an escarpment of the Macdonald River, near Wisemans Ferry.  The paintings that I have done here document this intense period. 

Clearing a place in the bush to make a studio involved a lot of heavy labour, as the world seemed to implode, I took refuge here. I made paintings as the studio progressed, camping through the winter, getting to know the bush, animals and insects. The Wollemi National park was my backyard but underpinning everything was the River.

I produced the main body of work for this exhibition over one month.  I would drive from Sydney to the studio to paint, mostly through the night, sometimes I would stay till exhaustion drove me to sleep on a camp bed, wake up at dawn and continue painting. One memorable painting session was after an exploration along the Hawkesbury with my partner Lynne in her camper-van, waking to a dawn with the mangroves shrouded in mist, the river was simply beautiful. I have used echoes of that one moment repeatedly with subtle variations for a lot of the paintings in the series.

This series could be described as a mixture of plein air “direct reporting” with abstraction. The work also contains oblique references to the Parramatta River, flowing out through the heads connected to the Hawkesbury by the wondrous evocative sea”.

‘The River’ by Phil Stallard

‘Hawkesbury River Ferry Mist’ by Phil Stallard (2020)
oil on canvas, 110 x 110cm
‘Going Up The River’ by Phil Stallard (2021)
oil, charcoal, acrylic on canvas, 170 x 240cm
‘Edge of the City’ by Phil Stallard (2021)
oil, charcoal, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150cm

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