Elaine d'Esterre

Feminist Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings

Art about Heads in the Landscape (Brachina Gorge)


Titled Maria Located the Golden Spike, 2013, 54x72 cm, oil on gessoed paper

Maria Located the Golden Spike, 2013

Detail from oil painting titled Maria Located the Golden Spike, 2013

Detail from oil painting titled Maria Located the Golden Spike, 2013

When I place a head in the landscape-type of background I try to depict a momentary thought as it appears to cross the subject’s face. This process is about how I think and understand the way that time, the ages and history are recorded in rocks. For me gorge formations are like reading and imagining a story about the earth’s history.

The Golden Spike mentioned in the artwork titles is a particular rock formation dated about 500 million years old located in Brachina gorge in the Flinders Ranges. This locale is also home to fossils that are examples of the first animal life. 

The head-images, abstracted and partially exaggerated anatomy meld with parts of the landscape as though the skull and earth’s crust both hold beneath them the forces of creativity and nature. The abstracted shapes that seem to happen come from an imagined element of the thinking process.

Author: elainedesterre

I have been producing oil paintings, mixed media, prints (etching), digital prints and drawings for many years travelling to the Australian outback and overseas for inspiration and further education. My formal education consists of a PhD in painting and a BA in printmaking and my artwork is represented in public and private collections. My purpose and ongoing challenge is to create a gender-balanced and environment-focused iconography within the Western canon of European oil painting. These themes find expression within imagery about time, memory and identity as well as in geomorphology of evolutionary and environmental significance.

2 thoughts on “Art about Heads in the Landscape (Brachina Gorge)

  1. Beautiful, beautiful work, Elaine!
    I love your connection to the earth, too. I live in a fossil rich area it makes me feel very connected to the earth.

    Our river even has ancient stromatolite fossils from when the area used to be covered in salt water: http://drawandshoot.me/2012/09/15/mapping-the-shoreline-2-stromatolites/

    • Hi Karen I went to your link and viewed the stromatolites. They are so clear and I love the contrast between their presence and that of the modern bridge. You are most fortunate to be in such close proximity. The fossils in the Flinders Ranges here are being recorded by an American (think she may be from California) palaeontologist Dr Mary Drosser (sp?). ( hope facts are correct). At the east end of Brachina gorge are fossilised stromatolites and I think they much older. Ive yet to explore our fossil coast down here. Thank your for the fascinating link.