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Imants Tillers The solid mandala

acrylic, gouache on 54 canvas boards

229 x 213 cm

This is not a painting of Venice. Instead it depicts the collision of two worlds: the Aboriginal and the European. The upper area is an aerial view of a landscape in the Western Desert of Central Australia based on a recent work by Bobby West Tjupurrula titled Snake dreaming at Wilkinkarra.

I’ve juxtaposed aspects of this image with a view of the most watery of European cities – Venice, as interpreted by the great 20th-century artist Giorgio de Chirico. The title, The solid mandala, comes from a Patrick White novel. White purchased a series of works from my first solo exhibition in 1973, which he donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, so my painting is a homage to him.

- Imants Tillers, 2016