Horizon Line – Falmouth

I have always been fascinated with the Baroque themes of the Vanitas; the relationship of the temporal to the eternal. This painting explores our sense of identity and our place in this landscape. As the shifting, shimmering light filled forms of the the washing on the line hinder our view of the East Coast hinterland near Falmouth, we long to push them aside and see the horizon beyond. A pillowslip, a sweetened envelope for weary heads, lifts in the breeze to reveal the Victorian Mansion of Enstone Park and beyond. A trail of smoke tells of the time prior to European settlement when the Falmouth area was inhabited by the Pyemmairrener Aboriginal people who had lived there for thousands of years. A river of life and history has always trickled across these grass plains. I sense their presence, their laughter and their tragedies…all ghostly and dissolving. The translucent sheets glow with the same afternoon sun that has always burnished these plains. The sun watches as rhythms and textures of life continue their generational song. We feel so permanent, so important, and we gouge a mark on this landscape so strongly and deeply to be sure of our stake forever, but this is the greatest illusion of them all. We are not here long, and the wounds we make on the land are soon healed and grown over. New insights into self are slowly synthesised from the consideration of both the familiar textures of life and the spiritual realities of the furtherest horizon. How long and how far do we extend? The vision of the horizon soon becomes finessed and clear as we push aside the textures of the mundane and the silly, the futile and the necessary, the work and the sleep, the obscuring veils that hide the view. A meditation on horizon lines.

Leoni Duff