looking back at you – CATTLE HERON 72CM X 72CM
URAL OWL – THE PLACE, ESTONIAN FESTIVAL MELBOURNE 2014 RED GALLERY 72CM X 72cm
‘Site Specific’ Bundoora Homestead May 2014
a joint exhibition – MARY MURPHY & BERNADETTE PILLI
Through careful observation of the local environment Mary Murphy uses an ornithological theme to remind the viewer of the natural world around us. Her carefully detailed bird studies – native and nomadic to the Darebin region, celebrate the past, and are optimistic about what we strive to regain through regeneration.
Metaphorically, Mary is using the return of birds to their regenerated landscapes to explore the phenomena of the return of progeny to the gentrified suburbs of their parents and grandparents.
The development of the northern suburbs occurred in the 20th century with a feeling of optimism subsequent to the goldrush of the previous century and following on from WW1 & WW2. Many of the large monuments and buildings in the City of Darebin were built at that time. The natural environment aquiesed to the growth of the suburbs as our predecessors built, lived and enjoyed the area north of the Yarra River and bounded by the Merri and Darebin creeks.
The paintings explore memories of a shifting environment where the bird acts as a timekeeper.
The deliberate use of a style reminiscent of 19th and 20th century colonial paintings in their composition and tone embraces the 21st century elements and subjects which can be found in the parklands of Darebin and along the Yarra River.
These paintings are part of an ongoing romantic and optimistic exploration of the resilience of both man and bird to adapt to a restored and changing landscape.