‘Beautiful subjects. Brilliant detail. Wonderful light. At once classic and challenging.’
The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG
Visiting the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles was the initial inspiration for this series, which fuses contemporary and classical imagery. A key painting, which was exhibited at the The National Gallery of Victoria, features AFL football player Brodie Holland. It refers to one of Jacques Louis David’s most famous paintings ‘The Oath of the Horatii’. Consider the parallels between Brodie and the Roman soldiers: celebrating physical strength, patriotism, trust and loyalty, an allegiance pledged, under siege or attack.
Now consider the changes which have occurred in communications since the 17th century, and the ramifications of those changes. Today we receive instant electronic messages, though in Vermeer’s lifetime it took six weeks or more for the recipient of the letter to learn its contents. Our response to a message, and human emotion, an important element in my paintings, has, of course, not altered over the centuries.