Issue 9
Monday, 06 June 2016
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Visual arts lecturer Henry Smith:  “… my search for the hidden within the visible”
Visual arts lecturer Henry Smith: “… my search for the hidden within the visible”

Central Australia in oils, like never before

By Patrick Nelson

Visual Arts lecturer Henry Smith says his latest exhibition of oil paintings has gone a long way to satisfying his quest to find a new way to reveal the Central Australian landscape.

“New Works”, which opened at the Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs recently, contains 30 works that locals will find both familiar and different.

While some of the works were inspired by the geological formations in the East MacDonnell Ranges, particularly near Corroboree Rock, Mr Smith said the finished works don’t necessarily describe the landscape as it is.

“This exhibition represents my search for the hidden within the visible or ‘real’ Central Australian landscape,” he said.

“I’ve been painting ‘representations’ for many years but no longer felt challenged in doing this, so I’ve been experimenting with a more abstract approach. 

“When I go to a landscape, I try to look at it in a different way; more in terms of shape and colour. 

“These works contain an element of expressionism and impressionism, however the main aim was to tread the line between abstraction and representation.”

Mr Smith, who has been teaching visual arts at CDU for the past 20 years, said it had taken two and a half years to prepare works for the exhibition.

The exhibition was opened by Charles Darwin University PhD graduate Dr Jennifer Taylor.