STU MURPHY, Pause. Lone Goat Gallery 9 Aug – 3 Sep


I think it’s important to show people what our wetlands look like. Your average wetland in the NSW north coast is difficult to see. The majority are on private land and being on a floodplain it can be hard to find an elevated spot to see these expanses of water and plants. I’m a swamp guy, I just like them. The weird creepy frog sounds, the beautiful green sedges and the expanse just kind of hits the mark.

These images are captured from a drone which I use to search for colours, lines and textures that please me. In my head I’m composing paintings and I often catch myself referring to them as such. By restricting myself to only shooting images with the camera pointed directly down I can concentrate on composure as elements like line become very important.

I want people to look at least twice at these images before they recognise what they are looking at. When people ask I describe them as abstract aerial photographs but I deep down I think that the abstraction lies in the observers head rather than my artwork. I can’t control what occurs in somebodies mind between the first and second look but people often share that short journey with me. Occasionally they describe seeing a painting of a forest reflected off a pond or the fur of an animal observed up close.

Each image has a story which inevitably involves human interference in the landscape in some way. An interference that in some photos is obvious to the eye such as a fence line and some more difficult to detect like changes in soil chemistry triggered by altered hydrology. The interference can result in stark contrasts in vegetation within an image or crazy intense colours coupled with seemingly absurd surface textures.

Stu Murphy
Grafton NSW 2019

Lone Goat Gallery 9 Aug – 3 Sep