We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Leo Robba A different kind of Eden

oil on canvas

216 x 121.5 cm

English artist Stanley Spencer once described the back gardens in his hometown of Cookham as ‘a private kind of heaven’. This idealised view of my neighbours’ garden in the Blue Mountains was very much intended to share Spencer’s feelings.

On one level the painting is highly personal. The toys were favourites of my children’s. The view also takes in some of my own two-acre garden, so my understanding of gardening is very real.

However, as a lover of the environment we should also think about climate change and our children’s future. The red hair on the doll is a clue.

- Leo Robba, 2014