Scrambling, climbing, flying and moving through the Cobboboonee Forest
John Walter Wolseley
21 Apr 1938 -
This major watercolour comes from a transitional period in John Wolseley’s practice, in which his subjects were moving from ‘dry’ (eg bushfires, deserts) to ‘wet’ (wetlands, swamps). This transition was marked most obviously in his use of materials - charcoal giving way to watercolour - reflecting the nature of his subjects. He described the work thus: ‘… [In this work] I try to describe the experience of moving through a mature forest…… In this case I am in the Cobboboonee forest towards the South Australian border – dragging my feet through the leaf-litter, hands grasping the trunks and branches of the trees, eyes up in the tracery of the branches with the songs of the birds in the air around me. Carbon is present here in all its many forms, exhaled and released in the breath and song of the birds and an air-borne sugar glider, and in the charcoal of burnt branches. And at the same time, inhaled and contained in the miraculous processes of photo-synthesis.’ (‘John Wolslely, Carboniferous’, Sydney: Roslyn Oxley Gallery, 2010).
watercolour, carbonised wood, graphite on sixteen sheets of paper
56.0 x 76.0 cm each sheet; 90.0 x 78.0 x 4.3 cm each frame; 246.0 x 324.0 cm frame overall
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, pencil "J Wolseley/ 2006".
Gift of the artist 2015. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Not on display
© John Wolseley. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 3 exhibitions
A Bird in the Hand: paintings by Tony Clark and John Wolseley, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Dec 2006–28 Jan 2007
John Wolseley: travelling west to Sunset tank, Australian Galleries Works on Paper, Melbourne, Collingwood, 19 Sep 2007–14 Oct 2007
John Wolseley: carboniferous, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington, 09 Sep 2010–09 Oct 2010
Referenced in 2 publications
Robyn McKenzie., Bird in the hand: paintings by Tony Clark & John Wolseley, 'Two in the bush',' in essay, Sydney, 2006, col illus. (detail).
John Wolseley, John Wolseley: carboniferous, 'Carboniferous', August 2010., Sydney, 2010, 'Movement 2: forest' pg. 3 (not paginated), cat. no. 1.. Room brochure has artist statement and list of works.