Another Day in Oceania | Fred Fowler
Another Day in Oceania is the latest body of work by Melbourne artist Fred Fowler. Completing his Masters in Contemporary Art at the VCA in 2012, he has since been practicing art full-time from his studio in Footscray.
This exhibition utilises the vehicle of landscape painting to explore ideas about the conflict between native and invasive species, and more specifically, the relationship between birds and cats - a relationship that poses a a serious threat to native wildlife in Australia. While Freddoes refer to his works as landscape paintings, the scenes he creates are more concerned with the beings that inhabit the land than the land itself. The paintings in this series also convey the growing divide between civilisation and nature, and the clash of urban and remote cultures.
Pictorial elements such as flashes of movement, symbols of urban and suburban culture, and various representations of flora and fauna are set against flat vibrant expanses of colour, creating distinctive ambient compositions.
'Fowler’s paintings evoke all that is ancient and beautiful about this land, and simultaneously, subtly, that which is more recent, brutal and confronting. They are a much needed, thoughtful exploration of these issues of land, animals, plants and humans, adding much to the discussion of Australia’s past and its present condition.'
Emily McCulloch Childs
Art historian, writer, researcher, publisher and curator. Co-author of McCulloch’s Encyclopaedia of Australian Art.