Tim Burns

Henty River, 2014

oil paint & wax on linen

140 x 120

From the artist

The land we know is here, but has to be travelled back to. Return. By this force of speech which is brutal, my maps that are syntax and memory. This part of the tillage of belief; it is deep and significant and is the ownership of Australia and of the land. Its is also happening with surprise like rain against the window glass, that you are traveling back across the wetlands towards a rounded silence, the boreal lands coming in at the eye; the ocean swell now sounding in the tops of trees, grey spindrift holds the world in unending veils. Back across the spring-mire you can feel is valved and ascending.  But the returning in through change not distance to the river. There is no distance through the forest now, only a sudden thickening of secrecy and green shade, the rain crowding through the leaves like applause. You will know this travelling and you will know the place. It is the situation of forgiveness and of reverberating silence. And the return. Your body will take its shape in rest, in brightness. There is water here. The river is in the south, and does not flow that you can see. Light rests upon it in shapes and colours, the reflections of trees fall inwardly down, right to the dark stones. This river has flowed deeply into you until it has become the knowledge of inwardness; it is the way you know quietude and the moment, it is the thing. But it flows (you are flung away in the same moment you arrived, but again, it is not through distance) beneath in cold and darkness, like language; the unyielding language of the country. It will not stop; it is pouring through our hands, here at the clear wells, where mind is nature. You will never leave the earth. 

Artist background

Born Sydney 1960. Lives and works in Judbury, Tasmania. Exhibiting in major solo and groups shows throughout Australia since early 1980s. Winner of Fleurieu Art Prize 2008 & Island Art Prize 2003. Finalist in Wynne Prize 2004; Glover 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008. Represent in Tasmanian and national public collections.

Represented by Bett Gallery, Hobart