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Mandy Martin, Lost Landscapes -The Tailings Dam after PiguenitTitle
Lost Landscapes -The Tailings Dam after Piguenit

In storage


Oil on Canvas

Winner Calleen Award 2002

Accession number

Excerpt from The Calleen Collection by Peter Haynes (2019)

Mandy Martin is a leading Australian artist with a career covering more than 40 years. Born in Adelaide in 1952 she studied there at the South Australian School of Art from 1972 to 1975. She moved to Canberra in 19778 and taught at the ANU School of Art from then until 2003. Since 2008 she has been an Adjunct Professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the ANU. Martin has won many awards and commissions including a commission for the Main Committee Room of Parliament House, Canberra (1988), the Australian Opera 40th Anniversary Print Folio (1996), the Jonn McCaughey Prize, National Gallery of Victoria (1983), the Hugh Williamson Prize, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery (1985) and the Alice Prize (1990). Her exhibition history in both group and solo shows from 1977 is vast. As well as numerous exhibitions in Australia, Mexico and the USA, she has exhibited in France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Taiwan. A major survey of her work was held at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in 2009 and the Cowra Regional Art Gallery hosted Homeground early in 2018, an exhibition that examined the artist’s concerns about environmental issues, issues that have occupied her art for the last 20 years. Her work is held many public and private collections in Australia and overseas including the National Gallery of Australia, most State galleries, many regional and institutional collections, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. Martin currently lives and works in Mandurama in the Central West of New South Wales.

Lost Landscapes – The Tailings Dam after Piguenit highlights the artist’s abiding interest in art history and the elision of that with her concerns for the environment. Her art is exemplary of her view that the landscape remains a vital and viable genre for contemporary artists. For her the real environment and that environment depicted are in a state of ongoing dialogue. Her active involvement with both reinforces for her the ability of each to penetrate the other. She celebrates both the painted construct of landscapes and the land itself. Lost Landscapes —The Tailings Dam after Piguenit concerns a very particular place and her choice of Piguenit as historic reference is also particular. The canvas is divided into 3 horizontal bands, the bottom 2 more or less terrestrial, the top celestial. The juxtaposition of earth and sky is clear and iterates the both the necessity and fragility of that interrelationship. The low horizon line evokes the distances and isolation of the Australian landscape. Martin’s sky owes much to Piguenit’s The Flood in the Darling (1890) in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Its atmospheric immensity looms over the land with an ominous air, a portent of future change. This work beautifully encompasses the notion that both art and nature (for Martin the latter as manifested in her environment) exist as contiguous partners in the continuum of life.