Colonial heat: Infestation, Recherche Bay

My explorations of Tasmanian landscape typically involve retracing locations where optimistic views of early colonial landscape painting were once made. I am particularly fascinated by first-contact views of Palawa country and how certain details in early paintings and drawings reveal confusion and ambivalence in settler assumptions of Terra nullius. Paintings from my Colonial Heat series often mimic nineteenth-century colonial landscapes but a lurid palette enables me to manipulate generic scenes, generating a sense of ecological urgency and disturbance. The resulting temporal ‘mash-ups’ suggest a compression of colonial past time with the colonial present.

Amanda Johnson


Oil and acrylic on canvas