Brett Colquhoun Underground medicine

14 June –
7 July 2007
The Trait
Brett Colquhoun

The Trait

, 2006
Pencil on paper
35.5 x 30cm

The title Underground Medicine relates to the idea that my drawings are not usually exhibited and are therefore unseen or underground. The drawing can be the conceptual and compositional remedy for the completed painting. Some imagery in this show is usually unseen or underground; root systems, cave structures, magnetic fields and tree cross sections. Underground Medicine is a track from an English band The Fall from 1978. A strong influence on earlier work.

Engulf, 2007 – A flame is engulfed and eaten by another flame. The soul is taken by itself or replica of itself. An interpretation of the title “Fear Eats the Soul”, a film by Rainer Fassbinder.

Hermetic, 2006 – An upside down telescope in silhouette. The telescope is portrayed as a cave or underground structure. The purpose of a telescope is inverted. Rather than an instrument observing of the cosmos it becomes a closed entity. It’s isolated and self-contained. The viewer looks purely at the space carved out of the earth in the form of the telescope.

Proximity, 2006 – An interpretion of a moment of closeness and tension. The magnetic field is a visual device to accentuate the feeling of tension and a imagined scientific response to an emotional theme.

The Trait 2, 2007 – The painting depicts a cross-section of a tree, the age of which is reflected in the wood grain. Birth and early years are represented by the first years and death is represented by the actual exposed tree trunk. Within the wood grain there is a break or gap in the linework threading across the canvas illustrating a flaw or imperfection in the log. This characteristic trait is carried throughout life, not hindering growth but leaving its mark nevertheless. It is this flaw that makes the life unique.

Remain, 2006 – This painting depicts the cross-section of a log. Memory is represented by the tree’s age lines and the Present is depicted by the rim of bark. The distinct space between these two elements is the unreconciled yearning of what remains from our memories. This is the actual subject of this painting.

Tarmac, 2005 – My father had passed away a couple of years prior to completing this painting. He
suffered a heart attack at Sydney Airport as he was returning home to Albury. It was with some bitterness I imagined his last view of the world to be a desolate expanse of tarmac. The shadow of the landing steps gives indication of the painting’s context. There is no plane to complete his trip, however the steps can be read as the commencement of a metaphysical and lone voyage.

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