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An image of Mort Bay by David Aspden

David Aspden

(Australia, England 01 May 1935 – 26 Jun 2005)

Mort Bay
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas

156.5 x 115.0 cm stretcher; 160.2 x 118.6 x 6.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the H.G. Slater Foundation 1984
Accession number
© Karen Aspden
Not on display
Further information

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.

Bibliography (1)

Anne Ryan, David Aspden: the colour of music and place, 'David Aspden: the colour of music and place', pg. 6-11, Sydney, 2011, 9, 59 (colour illus.), 83, 88. pg. 9 reference refers to Balmain, which is where Mort Bay is located.