Piers Greville

Pedder Prime Cuts, 2019

oil and acrylic on board

120 (over two panels) x 180CM

From the artist

I represent landscapes which reflect constructed qualities, somehow a product of human fabrication. I approach these landscapes through contemporary views, in this case a combination of digital mapping, photography, and memory. Canoeing on Lake Pedder in 2017 in the expanse of dark water, the almost black glassy depths and mountains held me in their beauty. A feeling of being absent from human clutter and noise settled on me, but the sudden recollection that this lake is a dam, tipped everything I was thinking on its side. This terrain consumed by Lake Pedder reveals its absences and loss, both beneath the lake’s dark depths, and the voids left in the fallible processes of digital mapping. Pedder’s distinctive white quartz beaches and deep submerged hues are made up of red, green and blue reflecting screen RGB colours of the digital world. A slightly downward view and use of a digital mapping view are important markers, offering a slight cool remove from the landscape, while enticing the view into the landscape unfolding into a broadening distance. The voids reveal a constructed concrete infinity, the diagonal checkerboard slices follow a top-down grid, prime cuts of a country cut up and sliced for consumption.

Judges Comments

“It is probably the finalist that displays the most ‘newness’ in his (Greville’s) approach to his comprehension of the landscape. His work comes from a very distinct moment  on Lake Pedder of his experience of the landscape, and a subsequent realisation of the constructed nature of the nature around him. Although Tasmania is famous for its wilderness, it is the second oldest part of Australia to be colonised with much of the landscape having been worked over. The winning artwork captured the idea of the landscape being seen as a commodity to be consumed by human kind. The work has a very dramatic sense of almost looking at the landscape from space, which captures the silliness of the notion that we can escape this planet to somewhere else. So for me there’s an element of the love of the landscape, but a desperation and a fear that we are not treating it in the manner we should – with respect.”

Barry Keldoulis

Artist background