Neil Haddon

A Rocky Shore, 2018

oil, enamel and digital print

120 x 130 cm

From the artist

"Last year I joined my partner in her project to walk the shoreline of Tasmania. I can measure this journey in months, weeks, days and hours. I can measure it in kilometres walked and in footsteps. I have geotagged photographs that show a precise location and the exact time of day. It is a highly quantifiable project. I am learning to navigate Tasmania by walking it.

The painting A Rocky Shore (2017) is very different to the photographs from this walking project. It has no locatable ground, no mapped coordinates or Google Earth image that can be zoomed in on to the point of walking it. Its coordinates refuse to be fixed. The painting draws on my experience of being a migrant to Tasmania; of relocation and the feeling of belonging to two homes at once. In the painting, you can see a rocky shore as if standing with your back to the ocean looking inland to a strange mix of Glover trees and reimagined old engravings of ruined English buildings. The references point to the two domains of my migrant story.

The rocky shore is an apt location to consider the lived experience of migration. It is an intermediate, intertidal zone, neither fully land nor fully ocean, characterised by diversity and adaptability. It is two places at once. It can be difficult terrain to traverse. I find a correlation between these characteristics and a sense of dwelling in an intermediate zone which is neither fully the place where I once was nor fully the place where I am now. The simultaneous pull of belonging and of connection to both homes is as strong as the tide and just as ceaseless. "

Artist background

Born Epsom, Surrey, UK in 1967. Moved to Tasmania in 1996 after living in Barcelona, Spain for six years. Lives and works in Hobart. Exhibiting since 1990 in UK, Spain and Australia including 'Theatre of the World', MONA 2012, and other group shows at TMAG 2011, National Gallery of Victoria 2010, and Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne 2009. Finalist in Fleurieu 2008, Tidal Devonport Art Award 2006, and City of Hobart Art Prize 2005. Winner of Poimena Art Award 2005. Work held in collections of NGV, TMAG, City of Wyalla, Devonport Regional Gallery & Gold Coast Arts Cesntre.

Represented by Bett Gallery, Hobart & Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne