This Time, This Place by Lesley Finlayson, September 2020
Major global events were occurring during the period I worked on this group of paintings. Walking, drawing, and painting provided a means to process these events. An initial motivation to build a painting series always begins outdoors, in whatever landscape I find myself. Whether it is somewhere new or old familiar ground, a sustained relationship of being and looking is the primary catalyst. Walking and drawing are at the heart of my practice, experiencing all weather conditions and seasons. In that process I begin to organize the space I’m experiencing in light, colour and textures through multiple drawings.
Once back in the studio, the drawings provide the aid-memoire for the paintings. The physical uniqueness of place is translated through processes of distillation and filtering to provide the structural framework of the painting composition. As the paintings progress the physical particularities of place dissolve. They are replaced by the on-going presence of the world I inhabit and the sensory materiality of the paint. The paintings often change dramatically early on, but over time the modifications become fewer and more refined until I that I have resolved my connection with the essence of the place. The process necessarily involves the exploration of time. No single painting can capture this completely; I frequently work on several paintings during any studio session, and thus the series develops and progresses in various stages to conclusion.
For this exhibition I worked in landscapes in and around Victoria. I began the series in January 2020, when the weather was less amicable and the striking skies cast foreboding light across the land. I continued working through the spring and summer responding to the seasonal changes in colour, light, textures of place, and of events unfolding in time.