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Beneath this dry land

reworked 2017


Fiona Lowry


  • Details

    reworked 2017
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint on canvas
    137.2 x 198.5 x 3.0 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated top c. to u.l. verso on stretcher, fibre-tipped pen "… Fiona Lowry … 2016/17".

    Purchased with funds provided by the Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2022
    Isaac Wakil Gallery
    Accession number
    © Fiona Lowry

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Fiona Lowry

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Fiona Lowry is renowned for her macabre depictions of the Australian landscape. Deftly painted in pastel colours using an airbrush gun, her works speak to the enduring idea of the outback as a beautiful yet somewhat threatening and inhospitable place.

    In 'Beneath this dry land', Lowry presents a pastoral scene with grassy plains, an old post and wire fence and a pair of straggly gum trees. A closer inspection of Lowry’s image reveals a disturbing detail in this otherwise picturesque view: there are several dead wild dogs strung from the branches of the trees. This grisly practice, which is surprisingly common in rural Australia, is believed to signal the number of wild dogs culled by a farmer on their respective property. Some also suggest that it is a statement intended to raise awareness about the threat that feral animals pose to livestock and native wildlife. The dead dog trees portrayed in 'Beneath this dry land' are situated in the Snowy Mountains region in southern New South Wales and were brought to Lowry's attention by a friend who lived nearby in Jindabyne.

    Besides finding beauty in an ugly subject, Lowry draws our attention to an ethically and politically complicated conservation issue in Australia. By depicting an iconic Australian tree in such an abject state, she also offers a commentary on bygone national ideals and their projection and propagation in Australian landscape art produced during the late 19th and early to mid-20th centuries.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions