(Australia 01 May 1935–26 Jun 2005)
156.5 x 115.0cm stretcher; 160.2 x 118.6 x 6.5cm frame
At the time this work was made, Aspden was living in Balmain, from which the title Mort Bay is taken. A visit to northern India in 1982 brought a new freedom of approach to his work, resulting in strongly gestural paintings of free-form shapes in exuberant colours. Black (which Aspden regarded as a colour) and cream were introduced as a new counterpoint – connected in part to the fire-blackened trees of Arnhem Land and the burning ghats he had witnessed in India.
At around this time Aspden began using as his monogram a small triangle, derived from the characteristic roof-front shape of the Haus Tambaran – a type of traditional ancestral worship house that he encountered in Papua New Guinea in 1981.
Anne Ryan (Australia) (Curator), Helen Campbell (Australia) (Assistant Curator), David Aspden: the colour of music and place, Sydney, 2011, 9, 59 (colour illus.), 83, 88. pg. 9 reference refers to Balmain, which is where Mort Bay is located.